Changes in the food provided onboard its aircraft will help Air India save Rs 20 crore annually, the government said on Tuesday.

Air India had last month decided not to provide non-vegetarian meals to economy class passengers on domestic routes in a move to reduce expenses. “This was started to save costs, reduce wastage, improve service and also to avoid any chances of mix-up of meals,” Minister of state for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

The airline is expected to save Rs 8-10 crore due to this move, he added.

b’Jayant Sinha said the airline is expected to save Rs 8-10 crore due to this move| Source: PTI’

According to the Minister, there have been other cost-cutting measures too, such as meal schedule, rationalisation of dry stores and ancillary items. Altogether, the airline is expected to save Rs 20 crore because of changes made to its catering policy.

Air India CMD Ashwini Lohani said that the national carrier is likely to take more such measures in order to rationalise costs.

Last year, Air India replaced veg and non-veg sandwiches with veg hot meals on flights of up to 90-minutes duration. It had also decided to strike off both tea and coffee from its lunch and dinner menu. The national carrier, however, has a different strategy for its international flights after its was told by the Civil Aviation Ministry “spend more to fill the aircraft”.

The airline plans to offer a variety of wines, mocktails for teetotallers and regional cuisine. There are also plans to offer passengers food of their choice, which will be collected from them days ahead of their flight.

Air India is reeling under a debt of Rs 48,876.81 crore and the government has in-principle given approval for disinvesting its stakes in the airline, and has constituted a group of ministers to look into the modalities.

(Feature Image Source: PTI)