Air India has stopped serving non-vegetarian meals to its economy class passengers on domestic flights.
The cost-cutting measure comes as the government considers ways to privatise the debt-laden national carrier.
Critics have suggested the move is discriminatory and will make very little difference to the airline’s bottom line.
But Air India’s boss defended the move, saying he did not understand the fuss it has caused.
On his Facebook page, Air India’s chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said the move “reduces wastage, saves on cost, improves service and eliminates possibility of a mix up.”
He said on short flights, “the meal is just an add on and not really worthy of a major concern.”
The airline’s in-flight food options are still more generous than those found on many European and US carriers.
Passengers with budget and full-service carriers have become accustomed to paying extra for meals in economy class on domestic and shorter international flights.
However one rival, Vistara, was quick to point out that it still was offering customers a meatier option