Full-service airline Vistara said it will minimise in-flight services, which will now have only cold meals and fewer entertainment options.
The changes, Vistara said, will reduce "touchpoints" by 80 percent during flights and limit the risk of COVID-19. The airline added that it will make further changes in line with the government's guidelines.
These will also help the joint venture company between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, to save on costs. Like its peers, Vistara too has been impacted by the disruption caused by the pandemic, and has already cut salaries and sent some of its staff on leave without pay.
Domestic and international flights are currently suspended during the nationwide lockdown, which began on March 25.
No more Starbucks coffee
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
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Vistara said it will withdraw on-board sales, welcome drink, hot meals, beverages in the premium economy and economy offerings. Only cold refreshments will be served in premium economy and economy services.
The number of meal options on board will be reduced, Vistara added.
The airline also said it will replace water-pouring with 200 ml water bottles, and will withdraw services such as Starbucks coffee and Turkish towels.
In-flight magazines and other reading material will be suspended, Vistara added. The airline's cabin crew will wear masks and gloves throughout the duration of the flight.
The airline said it will make further changes once the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) finalises the guidelines.
Vistara added that it is also reviewing services on international flights to reduce touchpoints.