India’s cash-strapped Jet Airways Ltd, will stop supplying free food to most domestic economy class air passengers from next year onwards to cut its expenditure and raise its revenue.
According to a statement from Jet Airways, the passengers have an option to buy their meals on board instead of free meals, the company said in a statement on Monday (3).
“(The move) reflects the fast-evolving nature of Indian aviation, where an increasing number of guests want the freedom and flexibility to make their own travel choices,” the airline added in a statement.
The airline has five categories of economy fares with different levels of benefits. It has begun phasing out free meals on the two lowest categories of economy fares and will now stop serving meals for two more categories from January 7. However, the changes will not be applicable to business classes and international flights.
Meanwhile, the top private airline cancelled at-least 14 flights on Sunday (2) after some of its pilots and other staff members protesting against unpaid salaries, called in sick, local media reported.
However, the airline’s spokesperson stated that flights were cancelled “due to an unforeseen operational circumstance, not pilot non-cooperation.”
The Jet Airways which is defaulting on the payment of the salaries to its staff members and vendors is trying to stay afloat and is on its efforts to raise funds by raising equity and a stake in its loyalty programme.
The company is also cutting its flight services on some routes and increasing frequencies on others in an attempt to raise its revenue. The survival of the 25-year-old company is essential for the companies from which it leased over 100 of its fleet of 124 planes.
Rising price warfare in India between air service providers has hit revenue and profitability of Jet Airways as it competes with other low-cost carriers such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, and others.