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After almost eight months of not serving any food, beverages (except bottled water) or offering in-flight magazines due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travellers will get to enjoy a range of food offerings when domestic airlines’ take to the sky this week.
The government prohibited eating and drinking onboard local flights earlier this year. Travellers were also not allowed to bring their own food either.
According to the recent amendments made to the Disaster Management Act, the Department of Transport has permitted the serving of pre-packaged catering onboard local flights- a major victory for catering companies outsourced by the airlines.
However, it noted that airlines need to “take all risk mitigation, health and safety measures to contain the spread of Covid-19”. (sic)
In a press release, Airlink announced it will resume catering from Wednesday, October 27, 2021.
Airlink CEO and managing director Rodger Foster welcomed the decision.
“It means we can once again provide Airlink customers with our complimentary, fresh and tasty food and beverage services,” he said.
Other South African airlines are yet to announce when they will resume their onboard catering.
What to expect
Flight meals can be added to a traveller’s flight ticket cost or they can order meals or snacks on the flight and pay cash.
The meals served are usually a light snack, a sandwich, wrap or roll, and a beverage. Some airlines offer sandwiches, chocolates, chips, biltong, peanuts and more on their flights.
Airlines like Lift treated their passengers to wine tasting that celebrated South Africa’s top wineries. It is unclear whether they will resume this service.
Magazines are back
Travellers will also get to read their favourite in-flight magazines. There are some conditions: they have to “pick up as they enter the aircraft”, not share among fellow passengers and need to be safely disposed of after the flight.
Read the October 2021 edition of IOL Travel magazine here.