Vistara takes dig at Air India’s veg meal policy

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On a day when beleaguered state-run airline Air India said it will serve vegetarian only meals to its economy class passengers, private full service carrier Vistara took a dig at the national airline saying it leaves the choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals to its flyers.

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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 Air India’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 Air India official on Monday.

Air India spokesman GP Rao said, “Air India has taken conscious decision not to have non vegetarian meal in economy class on its domestic flights to reduce wastage, reduce cost and improve catering service.”

The airline also said that having only-veg meals in economy class will avoid mix-ups and that vegetarian meals are more in demand.

Air India is saddled with a whopping debt of over Rs 52,000 crore

Interestingly the Tatas who jointly own Vistara along with Singapore Airlines, was the first to show interest in buying Air India after the government said it would like to divest its stake in the ailing airline.
Back in 2013, the then chairman of Tata GroupRatan Tata had said the group would “be very happy to look” at Air India “as and when it (privatization) happens.”

Air India’s original avatar was as Tata Airlinewhich was launched in 1932 by Tata Group patriarch JRD Tata. Post independence, it was incorporated as Air India International in 1948 as a joint venture between the government and the private sector to start overseas services. Five years after this, the government would nationalise the aviation industry bringing the airline under its control.

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