Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. is under fire from customers after scrapping vegetarian meal options on short-distance routes, adding to a barrage of criticism over delayed and canceled flights and lost luggage.
The move sparked anger after a former TV presenter took to Twitter to complain about the lack of vegetarian options on his two-hour flight from Adelaide to Sydney, with other users accusing the airline of overlooking the cultural and religious preferences of fliers to cut costs.
Qantas said in a statement it now offers a single meal on shorter routes to simplify service delivery for its crew, and tries to offer a vegetarian snack if the main option isn’t suitable.
The national carrier has attracted fury from passengers over months of travel chaos as it struggles to cope with a post-pandemic surge in travel demand.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce last month rebuffed calls from unions for him to resign, while Chairman Richard Goyder last week defended the airline and its CEO, saying Qantas is “well on the way to fixing such issues.”
An Australian Broadcasting Corp. survey in 2019 found that slightly under one in 10 Australians said they were either vegetarian, semi-vegetarian or vegan.