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Air India clarifies on vegetarian meals row

Come January 1, Air India will not serve non-vegetarian food to its economy class passengers on flights up to 90 minutes duration. The national carrier has also decided to struck off both tea and coffee from its lunch and dinner menu.

As of now, Air India serves sandwich (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) and cake on its flights, which are up to 90 minutes of duration, which will be discontinued from January 1, 2016, replaced with “all vegetarian” hot meal. Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani clarified that the national carrier currently provides only cold vegetable snacks on 60-90 minute flights, but from the New Year, the airline will serve proper hot meals.

Lohani denied reports that non-veg meals will be excluded from the flight and maintained that there is no change in the previous orders but rather some upgrades have been made.

Minister of state for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma said the circular was misinterpreted and reiterated that non-veg was not in the category of 60-90 minute flight snacks earlier too.

“It has been misinterpreted. The truth is that in short halt flights where the time span is between 60-90 minutes, we used to serve sandwiches and snacks which used to be vegetarian. Only thing was that there was a long demand that there should be some hot food as well,” Sharma added. AI has five categories of flights on its domestic sectors — breakfast from 5.30 am to 9.30 am, high-tea from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and 3 pm to 6.30 pm, lunch from 12 noon to 2.30 pm, dinner from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm and supper from 11 pm onwards.
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