Air India is toying with the idea of introducing paid meals for economy class passengers on select routes, this follows an already reduced inflight meal service on domestic flights up to 90 minutes. Air India is facing fierce competition and is looking to increase revenues, and the ‘free’ airline meal may soon be extinct.

To reduce costs, the airline went from serving hot meals to offering snack boxes and small snacks on Indian domestic flights with a flight time of up to 90 minutes only recently. The Hindu Business Line reported today that the airline plans to start charging for food served to passengers on short flights of up to 60-90 minutes in duration.  At this stage, this is a trial only and a final decision on whether or not the new system will be introduced should be made in the second half of this year.

The airline’s competitors SpiceJet, Indigo and JetKonnect all charge passengers a fee for meals inflight leaving Air India one of the last airlines in India to offer ‘free’ meals. The prices for the new Air India meals are yet to be determined but should be released by the airline shortly.