Air India is cutting costs by serving only vegetarian meals to economy passengers. Photo: iStock

Struggling Air India is cutting costs and streamlining service by serving only vegetarian meals to its economy class passengers on domestic flights, according to media reports.

An Air India spokesman was quoted as saying, “Air India has taken [a] 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 announcement follows a decision to serve only vegetarian meals on flights less than 90 minutes in duration.

An airline official was quoted as saying, “For very short flights like a 45-minute flight, there is hardly any time to serve, so we offer snack boxes. But even for an hour-long flight, if you take away the time soon after take-off or before landing, cabin crew gets only about 30 minutes. Where’s the time to ask passengers for their choice? We have examined the issue and we have found that people are very health conscious and many prefer veg meals over non-veg meals. As a result, a lot of non-veg food gets wasted.”

Meanwhile, the airline has a debt of over Rs52,000 crore and the government is in discussions to sell it off.