Vistara, the Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture carrier, has announced a range of temporary changes to its in-flight service once operations resume.

What’s changing?

The airline says the new changes to its service routine will apply to both domestic and international routes, and are being introduced to minimise touchpoints of human contact on board by up to 80 per cent.

Vistara intends to continue serving food and beverages in all cabins, though it wants to limit the time cabin crew spend in the aisles, as well as their interaction with customers.

On domestic flights, the service alterations include a reduction in meal choices and the withdrawal of onboard sales, a welcome drink, hot meals and beverages in the premium economy and economy cabins.

Starbucks coffee and Turkish towels are also being done away with.

Water will no longer be poured from large bottles and passengers will instead be given a 200ml sealed water bottles. Cold refreshments will be served to customers in the premium economy and economy cabins, including to customers who purchase Economy Lite fares.

To reduce the risk of spreading a virus by touching, the airline has implemented a temporary fleet-wide removal of its inflight magazine and other reading material.

Vistara says cabin crew are receiving training on minimising their chances of contracting or spreading the coronavirus. Staff will undergo thermal screenings before departure and on arrival and may be quarantined if any colleagues or passengers show symptoms of infection.

What about PPE?

Cabin crew will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and disposable gloves at all times.

Aircraft will fly with surgical masks, gloves, sanitizer wipes and contactless infrared thermometers, while the airline will arrange a precautionary check-up with airport medical support teams for any passenger showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Vistara says disinfectant cleaning will take place on all aircraft after every flight, with more extensive deep cleaning carried out every 24 hours.

Finally, passengers will be encouraged to use self-service facilities such as web check-in and airport check-in kiosks.

Summing Up

Vistara is planning to dramatically reduce human interaction when its flights resume, by streamlining its meal services (particularly in the economy and premium economy cabins) and ditching in-flight literature.

Unlike other global airlines, Vistara has made no mention of blocking middle seats in order to allow for more space between customers, suggesting it has no plans to restrict how busy flights will be.

Vistara is also silent on the issue of passengers wearing masks, which will be compulsory when some European and American airlines resume flying.

What do you make of the proposed changes, and has Vistara gone far enough to get you flying again?