New Delhi: The DGCA has convened a meeting of all domestic airlines tomorrow to discuss rules to be put in place to ensure that safety operations on flights are not hampered when the cabin crew are busy selling merchandise to passengers on board an aircraft.
While only two low-cost carriers, GoAir and IndiGo, at present have the system of in-flight sale of items like pens, watches and cosmetics, the other domestic airlines do not offer such services. Erstwhile Air Sahara (now JetLite) was the first to start the practice several years ago but have stopped it.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the airlines to stop onboard sale till proper procedures were put in place, official sources said, adding that food and non-alcoholic drinks are not covered by this order.
Prohibiting the physical sale of merchandise on board in domestic sectors, the DGCA order said the regulatory body has not granted approval to any domestic airline to sell merchandise on domestic sectors. This was also not documented in operations manual of the airlines. “It is felt that such actions of airlines are not conducive to safety of operations as being carried out now,” it said.
The sources said concerns were expressed over the limited number of cabin crew on board these flights, with many of them being busy selling these items on flight.
“This is eating into their duties to ensure operational safety, especially on short-duration flights,” they said.