Qantas and Virgin Australia are suspending inflight meals and drinks, driven by both health concerns stemming from the coronavirus as well as diminished demand for travel, with both airlines now operating a vastly reduced schedule of domestic flights.
Qantas has scaled back its inflight catering "until further notice" to a complimentary bottle of water and a snack, a spokesman confirmed to Executive Traveller.
This applies to all flights and at all times, even when the flight schedule would usually qualify for a proper breakfast, lunch or dinner.
"As part of our response to the evolving Coronavirus situation, we’re making some temporary changes to our inflight service," the airline notes. "We will no longer be serving meals on domestic or regional flights. Our crew will continue to offer a complimentary bottle of water and a snack on these services."
With airport lounges now shuttered, passengers are advised to 'grab and go' from an airport cafe.
Virgin Australia's catering cuts will mean only a complimentary snack and bottle of water in economy class as part of "a more simplified onboard offer", although the option to purchase food and drink from the 'buy on board' retail menu remains.
Business class passengers will continue to enjoy the standard Luke Mangan meal service, although they're no longer able to dip into the retail menu for free add-ons.