NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India will impose a ban on single-use plastic products like bags, cups and straws on all its flights from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Officials said the ban will be implemented in all flights of Air India Express and Alliance air flights in the first phase, while it will be implemented in Air India flights in the second phase.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a pitch for plastic-free India during his Independence Day speech on August 15.
Officials said the national carrier will use eco-friendly birch wood cutlery in place of plastic cutlery for special meals while crew meal cutlery will be replaced with light-weight steel cutlery.
Plastic tumblers, teacups will be replaced with paper versions.
Handy snacks items such as chips and sandwiches — that come packed in a plastic pouch — will be replaced by butter paper pouch. The national carrier will replace cake slices with muffins so that plastic wrapping is avoided.
Fares go up
Air travellers will have to pay more for flying in the upcoming festive season as airfares are likely to rise. Officials said the aviation sector has managed to stay afloat despite the grounding of Jet Airways. But, most carriers may up ticket prices in the festive season.
Talking about resilience of the aviation sector despite the Jet fiasco, Aviation secretary Pradeep Kharola said, “There was 5-6 per cent capacity growth. Fares are coming down now because competition has picked up. The festive season is coming up and we will see more participation in next few months.”
There was a sudden decrease in the airfares after Jet Airways collapsed. Airline operators increased operations to cash in on the opportunity, leading to higher competition and lower airfares.
Airfare rises every year in the month of October and November due to the festivals.
After Jet Airways shut operations in April, it created a void of 110 planes leading to massive flight crunch resulting in fare rise in March-June. The DGCA had then asked other domestic airlines to ramp up operations and add to their fleet.