New Delhi, July 10: In a cost cutting measure, Air India has stopped serving non-vegetarian meals to economy-class passengers on all domestic flights from mid-June this year. The non-vegetarian meals will be served in business and executive class of domestic and international flights.

“We have decided to serve vegetarian meals in our economy-class seats on domestic flights,” Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said, the Hindu reported.

The decision is being taken to cut wastage and cost, and to avoid mix-up of vegetarian with non-vegetarian meals. “It also eliminates the possibility of mix-up: a non-veg meal getting served to a vegetarian passenger, as it had happened a few times in the past.”

Another Air India official GP Rao said, “This decision (no non-veg meals) is effective only for domestic economy class passengers. It will reduce wastage and costs.”

Mahesh Y Reddy, Secretary-general of Air Passengers Association of India, said Air India should immediately withdraw the decision. “A full-service carrier like Air India should not resort to such a measure. Even a low-cost carrier gives the passengers their food options. Air India should have conducted a passenger survey before taking this drastic step, and it should immediately withdraw the decision.”

A senior official of Air India said the decision should lead to Rs 8 crore in annual savings for the ailing airline. The national carrier now spends Rs 400 crore on catering on its domestic and international flights every year, an Air India executive said.

Earlier, Air India stopped serving non-vegetarian food to its economy-class passengers on flights lasting up to 90 minutes. It also took tea and coffee off the lunch and dinner menus as a cost-cutting measure.