NEW DELHI: Cash-starved Air India is putting its crew on a diet, changing their inflight menu to special low-fat meals.
Dhananjay Kumar, the state-run airline’s spokesman, said on Wednesday that the objective is to provide healthy and cost-effective meals to crews on domestic and international flights.
Kumar declined to comment on media reports that the cost per meal, mostly vegetarian, will come down to one-third of existing 500-800 Indian rupees (up to $11) per meal.
The new menu was introduced on Monday on flights originating from New Delhi and Mumbai and will be extended to other routes soon.
“Special low-fat diet meals have been worked out on a day-wise basis in order to provide light and healthy meal with a home (Indian) touch,” an airline statement said.
The decision comes at a time when the Indian government is trying to divest from Air India, which has debts of nearly 580 billion Indian rupees ($8 billion).
After an earlier failed attempt to sell the airline off last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is expected to try again in October.
In 2009, the airline fired 10 air hostesses for being overweight after they failed to get back in shape three years after they were switched to ground crew jobs.