Coronavirus: Vistara modifies in-flight services

Coronavirus: Vistara temporarily modifies in-flight services

Vistara CEO Leslie Thng speaks at an aviation conference in Mumbai, India. (Reuters Photo)

Vistara announced on Thursday temporary changes in its in-flight products and services to minimise the touchpoints of human contact on board by up to 80 per cent during the post-lockdown period.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the service alterations in domestic flights' premium economy class and economy class include a reduction in meal choices and withdrawal of services like onboard sales, welcome drink, hot meals and hot beverages, Vistara stated.

Starbucks coffee and Turkish towels will not be served in business class and premium economy class, the airline said in a statement.

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"Water-pouring will be replaced with a distribution of 200ml sealed water bottles on all flights, and cold refreshments will be served to customers in premium economy and economy cabins, including to customers opting for economy lite fares," the full-service carrier stated.

Services on international flights will also be reviewed accordingly to curtail contact with customers, the airline said.

India has been under lockdown since March 25 to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has infected more than 33,000 people and killed 1,074 people in the country so far.

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All commercial passenger flights have been suspended for the lockdown period.

Vistara said its cabin crew members were receiving appropriate training on minimising their chances of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

"They will undergo thermal screenings before the departure and arrival of flights, and will be quarantined/tested if any colleagues or passengers show symptoms of infection or test positive for COVID-19," the airline stated.

The cabin crew will wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks and disposable gloves, at all times, it said.

To further reduce the risk of spreading the virus by touch, the airline said it had temporarily removed in-flight magazines and other reading materials from its aircraft fleet.