Air India economy class flyers to get veg-only meals on domestic flights

Air india

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Implemented about two weeks back, the move is expected to save Rs 7-8 crore annually.
  • However, budget flyers on AI’s international flights will continue getting non-veg food.
  • The move comes as AI’s debt burden of over Rs 52,000cr and mounting losses led the government to decide to sell it off.

AIR INDIA: In a cost-cutting move, loss-laden Air India has stopped serving non vegetarian meals to economy class passengers of its domestic flights. However, budget flyers on AI’s international flights will continue getting non-veg food. “We implemented this move about two weeks back. It is expected to save us Rs 7-8 crore annually,” said a senior official.

The move comes as AI’s debt burden of over Rs 52,000 crore and mounting losses have led the government to decide to sell it off. IndiGo has already given a formal expression of interest to buy the international operations of AI and AI Express.

Last month, AI employees had given a number of cost-cutting measures to the management to turn around the airline and prevent its privatization. These – too little, too late measures — included cutting salad from meals.

A senior AI official had last month said in an internal mail to top management that on a recent flight, a cabin crew incharge walked up to him to suggest some cost-cutting moves. “One was that in international flights economy class, he found only 20% eating salad. He (the cabin crew) felt we must discontinue salad in economy class on international flights. He also felt that we must carry only around 25 copies of Shubh Yatra (AI’s insight magazine) in a flight which can be kept in the magazine racks rather than on every seat to reduce weight,” the official’s internal communication says.

“He also mentioned that his friends from IndiGo had told him how cost conscious (budget airlines) are. IndiGo first removed curtain in front of the cockpit door to reduce weight. When cockpit door is open a crew stands there. He says after a few weeks they even removed the curtain hooks as they felt that also adds to the weight. It may seem trivial but it is part of the resolve to reduce weight and remember the well known saying that drops make an ocean,” the communication says.

Clearly, AI employees are inspired by the folklore of aviation industry according to which a leading American carrier saved almost $1 lakh annually by removing an olive from each meal in the 1980s.

“He (the cabin crew) felt all departments must contribute like this to help the company…. We have a few more months to prove ourselves. Air Indians will rise like a Goliath and prove our detractors wrong. Friends, Let us all resolve to increase revenues and decrease costs in a war like manner. Together we will win,” the mail says.

Source: Times Of India

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