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Passengers on flights lasting less than an hour may no longer be served food and drinks, under a new regulation issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The guidelines on strengthening cabin safety management, which take effect this month, state that flight attendants should solely perform safety duties within 20 minutes of take-off and 30 minutes before landing, the Guangzhou-based New Express newspaper reported on Tuesday.
It quoted an unnamed source with China Southern Airlines as saying that if the guidelines are strictly implemented, it means flights lasting less than an hour will no longer provide food and drinks, while flights of less than two hours will provide only snacks instead of a meal.
Serving a meal and drinks on a flight with a high number of passengers usually takes at least an hour. Providing snacks will take 40 minutes, while offering just drinks will take 30 minutes, the source said.
Airlines are gradually implementing the new rules, the source said, though they fear passengers may mistakenly see this as a move by airlines to cut costs, resulting in criticism or complaints.
Industry insiders suggested that food and drinks could be distributed to passengers before boarding.