In a further sign that travel is inching slowly back to normal, Vistara has reintroduced in-flight meal service, following the recent relaxation in regulatory guidelines.

Meals are now back on Vistara flights!

As of Monday, September 7, Vistara is serving pre-packed snacks and meals, as well as pre-packed beverages, on all domestic flights.

As you’d expect, the best fare can be found in the business class cabin, where passengers can choose from a selection of vegetarian or non-vegetarian dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner (depending on the time of day).

A full service will be given on flights lasting 90 minutes and above, including cut fruits, salad, dessert, bread, and a heated meal (served in disposable, pre-packed containers).

On flights with a flying time of below 90 minutes, Vistara says it will serve business class passengers a "cold meal, with the appropriate accompaniments". Pre-packaged water, juice, aerated beverages, tea and coffee, including Starbucks on some flights, are available (pre-poured in the galley, as per government guidelines).

Passengers in premium economy can choose between non-vegetarian and vegetarian heated meals. The menu includes sandwiches, wraps, and salad - served in disposable, pre-packed containers along with pre-packed juice and water.

All economy passengers, including those with Economy Lite tickets, are served a vegetarian menu which includes sandwiches, wraps and salad, along with pre-packed water.

Meals currently being offered include peri-peri spiced chicken breast, Waldorf salad, rajma galouti and truffle pastry. Vistara says:

"We are taking every measure to ensure highest level of hygiene and safety of all on board, such as fresh set of gloves for meal services and setup of tables and cutlery beforehand. However, in an effort to minimize the touchpoints and interaction between crew and passengers there will be limited on board services available."

Vistara partners with Plusgrade to sell surplus seats

Back in April, we reported that Vistara was ditching its original upgrade partner, OptionTown.

The airline has now reached a new deal with Plusgrade - which works with over 70 airline and cruise operators, helping them to boost ancillary revenue sales - to sell Vistara premium economy and business class seats.

With business travel expected to remain depressed in the short term, Vistara’s hopes now rest on leisure travellers stumping up some extra cash to help fill the forward cabins.

"Vistara’s new upgrade program is expected to play a major role in building passenger confidence and loyalty in the long term,” says Vinod Kannan, chief commercial officer at Vistara.

"With support from Plusgrade, more passengers will have access to the personal space, comfort, privacy and high-end service that come with a premium experience. These are all things that our travellers are looking for as they consider returning to the sky."

Using the new Vistara Upgrades service, passengers will be able to upgrade from economy to premium economy, or from premium economy to business class using an online portal - with a choice of bidding to upgrade, or paying a fixed fee for an instant upgrade.

In addition, customers will receive targeted emails, inviting them to upgrade. Additional features such as web check-in and mobile app invites are also planned.

Note that Club Vistara members will earn CV Points based on their original class of booking - not the class of service to which you have upgraded.

Click here to read a review of business class on the new Vistara A321neo, on the first day of commercial service.