Vistara, a Tata-SIA alliance airliner has re-introduced in-flight meals across cabins on its domestic network. The domestic airline has also resumed serving hot vegetarian meals in the Economy Class on its flights within India. As per the DGCA guidelines, air carriers were not allowed to serve on-board fresh hot meals and in-line with the same, Vistara replaced hot meals with pre-packaged snacks in order to control the spread of COVID-19.
With the COVID-19 in control, and 100-crore Indians receiving vaccine doses (either single or both), airliners have slowly started to bring back in-flight experiences including hot meals following the guidelines set by regularoty authority DGCA. Vistara says that customer feedback that suggests that travellers are becoming "more confident" about consuming meals on board.
Vistara has laid out a detailed plan to keep the inflight menu new and refreshed. As per the company, a lot of travellers preferred Vistara over other domestic airlines due to good quality in-flight meal. Vistara says they will be refreshing meals every three days which includes options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
In Economy Class, breakfast options include Masala Uttappam, Medu Vada, Idli with sambar etc.; lunch and dinner options include Vegetable Biryani with Dal Makhani, Jeera Pulao with Chana Masala, and more; while Masala Pao with Bhaji, Hot Garlic Vegetables with Noodles, etc. will be served as snacks on relevant flights.
Vistara recently won the Best Airline in India and Central Asia award at the Skytrax annual ratings and was also lauded for cabin cleanliness and safety standards.
Apart from Vistara, the other brands serving fresh hot meals in the cabin were Air India and Air Asia, all three belonging to the Tata Group. However, there's no update on whether they are starting the fresh meals on-board or not.
Other brands like IndiGo and SpiceJet servce pre-packed snacks and meals and have stopped selling fresh food including sandwich during COVID-19. There's no word from the airliners if they are planning to start the same.