New Delhi, July 11: The airline war has begun with private airline Air Vistara taking a dig at state-run Air India over its vegetarian menu for economy class. In a tweet on Monday, Air Vistara shared an image of its vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu and wrote, “At Air Vistara, we leave the choice to you!” The tweet came on a day when Air India announced its decision to go vegetarian on its domestic flights for economy class.
Describing it as a cost cutting measure, Air India stopped serving non-vegetarian meals to economy-class passengers on all domestic flights from mid-June this year. The non-vegetarian meals will continue to 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. reports say that the decision was 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,” Lohani said.
Air India has been receiving flak for its decision. 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,” Reddy said.
In 2015 too, Air India had taken a similar decision. Air India had decided to serve only vegetarian food on its flights clocking between 61 and 90 minutes of flying time.