The collateral damage to the Indian aviation ecosystem has not just been with airlines and airports, which saw demand collapse for a while, but also with some of the rules in place, saw the other vendors of services such as inflight meals suffer due to regulations such as no meal service provision on flights under 2 hours. As Covid-19 ebbed, the aviation rules were still guided disconnected with the actual situation on the ground. However, that has changed.
Airlines can resume meal services and magazines
In the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, meal services were restricted for flights below two hours with the rationale that meals were needed on longer flights, but they were not needed on short flights. The Government of India has now allowed the resumption of full meal service on flights of any duration.
This means airlines such as Vistara can go back to serving meals on all sorts of flights to resume their full-service differentiation, and airlines such as IndiGo can now return to inflight meal sales. For no-frill carriers, meal service is an essential auxiliary revenue source that was unavailable to them for a long time. For full-service airlines such as Vistara, it has been hard to differentiate for the past few months, with scores of angry customers, and they only recently returned to a full meal service on flights above two hours.
In addition, airlines can also resume placing inflight magazines on their aircraft, which could be a good thing for the advertising revenue they generate.
Cabin crew no longer need to be dressed up in PPE gowns
One of the other archaic regulations, not following the science, was the flimsy gowns that all cabin crew had to wear onboard the flight. Unfortunately, this was also a requirement for middle-seat customers but was recently removed for them. Now, these PPE gown requirements have been repealed even for cabin crew.
Here is the official order from the Government of India
With this move, only two key restrictions remain for carriers operating in/to India. First, domestic carriers have to sell within prescribed fare bands for T-15 ticket sales. Second, air operations into India can only be done with transport bubbles because regular services have not been resumed at the moment. This has led to reduced capacity and also increased fares.
Many of the parts of travel would hopefully return to airlines very quickly as meal services and in-flight magazines are allowed to return to the planes. The PPE gowns for flight attendants go away as well, and only masks will remain, which I presume will be there for a while.
What do you think of the new permissions given to airlines? Too late or too early?
Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.
(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. For international transactions, use Paypal to process the transaction.)
We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.