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Airline companies shake up in-flight service

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-10 13:24
[Photo/IC]

China's civil aviation authority said airline companies can decide whether to provide passengers in-flight meal services in order to ensure flight safety, Chinanews.com reported.

Gu Xiaohong, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China's general affairs department, said at a news conference in Beijing on Monday that the draft of regulations removing airborne meal services gives airline companies more flexibility on running their business and providing passengers diversified services. It is a response to the latest move by CAAC plans to simplify the catering service on-board that has drawn nationwide criticism.

Passengers' primary complaint was that flights used to catering dinner now only cater snacks, with declined meal quality.

A passenger surnamed Xue said in the past few days during his eight flights, the food provided by different airlines was simpler overall, according to a report from news website jwview.com. Xue was surprised when he recently flew from Chongqing to Shanghai, and was catered with only three small snacks during the two-hour flight.

Another passenger surnamed Yang said on her flight on August 26 from Changsha to Beijing, the previously served beef rice or curry rice was replaced with a small sandwich and a bottle of water. "I was surprised that my dinner was only thin slices of bread stuffed with pieces of beef and two small leaves inside," she said.

According to Gu Xiaohong, in-flight meal services are an important part of airborne services in China, and the decisions primarily belong to the airlines' own business. The companies decide on their own to provide their meal services depending on the flight length and passengers' demands, while ensuring safety for all on the flight.

The regulation issued by CAAC in 2012 specified that cabin crew are not allowed to engage in unsafe work 20 minutes after flight departure and within 30 minutes before landing.

"CAAC has reaffirmed the regulation following the recent consecutive aircraft incidents in which passengers and cabin crew have been harmed when delivering services within 30 minutes before landing," Gu Xiaohong said.

"Some airline companies simplified their meal services as catering on short-haul flights (mainly less than two hours) is a bit tight for the cabin crew, as they don't have enough time to collect the food waste safely," Gu added.

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