Air India Express will discontinue single use plastic in the coming month

There was a long Media Workshop organised by the Civil Aviation Ministry of India today, on August 29, 2019, where tonnes of interesting stuff came out. I’m going to post everything of interest one by one. For me, one of the biggest pieces of news and not just talk, was Air India moving forward with their plans to do away with single use plastic on their aircraft.

This move will be first implemented on Air India Express, which is the low cost arm of Air India, and on Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India. Both of these carriers will stop the use of single use plastic with effect from October 2, 2019. After the first phase, in the second phase, Air India itself will stop the use of single use plastic on board their planes.

Of course, one of the biggest creation of single-use bottles comes from small-pack water bottles handed out to customers (200 ml). Effective today itself, Air India will replace these with 1500 ml water bottles on all routes except DEL-CJB-SIN & DEL-IXM-SIN.

For DEL-CJB-SIN & DEL-IXM-SIN v/v flights, Air India will use potable water available on the aircraft (253 Ltrs). As these are multi-leg flights with multiple meal service, Air India does not have sufficient galley space. Further than that, the aircraft will have 1500 ml water bottles as well, after the potable water runs out.

Air India Plastic Ban

But it is the food where Air India is doing some nice thinking, to be implemented in the coming days. Ultimately F&B becomes a key part in single-use plastic usage, and has a lot of scope to change. In spite of being a No-frills carrier, Air India Express serves box meals on all flights. Banana Chips & Sandwiches are presently packed in plastic pouches, which will be changed to Butter paper pouches. Cake slices uplifted in the Snacks Box will be replaced with Muffins to avoid the present plastic wrapping.

For special meals that are ordered and paid for by passengers in advance, Air India will use Eco-Friendly Birchwood cutlery in place of plastic cutlery. Crew meal cutlery will be replaced with lightweight steel cutlery. Plastic tumblers will be replaced with Paper tumbler. Plastic teacups will be replaced with sturdy Paper cups.

I’m pretty happy with some of these changes, because other players such as Vistara have also adopted change. IndiGo anyways serves potable water on the plane without using water bottles. Other major players in the travel industry are also moving towards doing away with single use plastic, such as Marriott’s announcement yesterday to discontinue all toilet amenities in small bottles.

What do you make of the new move of Air India Express? 

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Getting rid of SUP (Single Use Plastic) is a good idea and I think all airlines will be following suit very soon.

    Nice to see Air India leading the way!

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