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Russian Airline Launches In-Flight Meal Delivery for Quarantined Russians

Russian airlines like Ural Airlines have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis as travel restrictions have ground international and domestic flights. Edwin Leong / Wikicommons

As Russians across the country are staying home under coronavirus lockdown measures, Ural Airlines has launched a special service for those who are sick and tired of all those home-cooked meals — or just really miss traveling.

Residents of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ural Airlines’ home city of Yekaterinburg will now be able to savor the flavor (or lack thereof) of an Ural Airlines in-flight meal delivered directly to their doors.

"Everything is like it is on a plane, except for the window view," Ural Airlines said.

The online delivery service offers authentic plane meals — available with beef, chicken or fish — from both the business and economy class menus. Meals range from 550 rubles ($7.50) to 1,700 rubles ($23). A selection of juices is also available to order.

“Meals are prepared with fresh ingredients according to on-board catering procedures immediately before delivery,” the airline’s website says.

According to the airline, 5% of each purchase will be credited to the buyer’s airline loyalty card.

Ural Airlines, which was recently placed on the government’s list of “backbone” enterprises during the coronavirus crisis, has been hit hard by the pandemic, reporting a 25% decline in passenger traffic between March 2019 and March 2020.

Global border closures and travel restrictions aimed at slowing the coronavirus’ spread have forced Russian air carriers to ground their international fleets, with only a limited number of flights to allow Russians in other countries to return home.

The crisis has also hit domestic air traffic, with many Russians staying home and postponing travel plans due to nationwide stay-at-home orders.

According to the Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsiya, almost every major air hub across Russia has seen a significant decline in passenger traffic over the last month. Russian airlines could lose more than 100 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) by the end of the year if the situation doesn't improve, the head of Rosaviatsiya has said.

Russia has reported a total of 106,498 coronavirus infections and 1,073 deaths as of Thursday.

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