Centre allows meals on flights, flyers refusing to wear masks to be put in no-fly list

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Flyers can now have meals, pre-packed snacks, and beverages on domestic flights and hot meals on international flights, the Civil Ministry said. Apart from this aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sent a stern message that if any passenger refuses to wear a face mask in a flight then he or she can be put on the no-fly list by the concerned airline.

The Civil Aviation Ministry in its order said, “Airlines may serve pre-packed snacks/meals/pre-packed beverages on domestic flights depending on the duration of flight.”Airlines and charter flight operators can “serve hot meals and limited beverages” on international flights “as per the standard practices”, it added. The ministry said only single-use disposable trays, plates and cutlery should be used while serving food or beverages in domestic and international flights. “Crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for every meal/beverage service,” the Airlines noted.

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic situation in India and across the world, in-flight meal service was not permitted on domestic flights since their resumption on May 25. On international flights, only pre-packed cold meals and snacks were being served depending on the flight duration since May this year, as per a PTI report.

A senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “A passenger who refuses to wear a face mask can be put on no-fly list by the airline.” However, the official said no new order has been passed in this regard as the airline and its cabin crew are sufficiently empowered under the existing DGCA rules to take action. As per the existing DGCA rules, an airline can choose to put an unruly passenger on its no-fly list after internal deliberations. Subsequently, other airlines may follow suit in putting that passenger on their no-fly lists.

The Civil Aviation Ministry said “crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for every meal/beverage service,” it noted. The ministry also permitted the aircraft operators to let passengers use the in-flight entertainment system on international as well as domestic flights wherever available. “Disposable earphones or cleaned and disinfected headphones will be provided to passengers at the start of the journey,” it noted.

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