Flying amid Covid-19 pandemic: Airlines across globe are stopping in-flight alcohol sales


The coronavirus pandemic has not only changed our present but is also changing the future in many ways. The state of normalcy in a post-Covid-19 world will be an altered version of what “normal” once looked like. One of the major sectors to have taken the hit of the pandemic is the aviation industry. As it struggles to get back to the open skies, many challenges loom ahead.

The future of flying, at least in the immediate days to come, is going to change. One of the major changes brought about by some airlines is temporarily stopping the sale of alcoholic beverages inside the aircraft to make flying amid Covid-19 crisis a safe experience.

According to a CNN report, a host of airlines companies including American carriers like Delta, American, have decided not to serve alcoholic drinks to flyers in a bid to reduce food and drink options aboard. US’ Delta Airlines will only be serving alcohol in its international flights.

Many airlines, including British budget airline EasyJet, have settled with only serving bottled water aboard.

The Netherlands flag-carrier KLM, has suspended sales of hot and alcoholic drinks, but for water and soft drinks.

The UK’s flag carrier, British Airways, has suspended its alcoholic beverages in its short-haul economy class flights (”Euro Traveller”).

Virgin Australia is serving water and a snack to all its flyers, however, additional food and drinks – including alcoholic beverages – aren’t currently available for onboard.

India resumed domestic air travel last month with a strict ban on international flight operations in place. As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, “no newspaper or magazine shall be provided on board by the airlines to the passengers”. Sale of eatables is barred and passengers are not allowed to consume food inside the aircraft.

The ministry issued a detailed “inside the aircraft” guidelines to inform about the measures to be followed inside the aircraft and restricted consumption of eatables, barring water, inside the flight.

In the Aircraft

a. Throughout the flight, hygiene and sanitation to be maintained by the passengers. Face to face interaction to be minimized.

b. Passenger are advised to minimize use of lavatory and to avoid any non-essential movement in the aisles.

c. No queuing at the lavatory and only one companion for children and the elderly to be allowed.

d. No meal services would be made available in the aircraft. Water bottle to be made available in the gallery area or on the seats.

e. Passengers would not be permitted to consume any eatables inside the aircraft during the flight.

f. Passengers to note that No paper/magazine will be available in the aircraft.

g. There would be no on-board sale of any item to minimize the physical contacts.

h. lf any passenger feels uncomfortable, fatigued or have cough, it should be brought to the notice of the crew for handling the passenger.