Here in the United States, the typical economy class service offered on short-haul flights is a simple snack and beverage service. There are often options to purchase meals on board, but only on longer flights (e.g. flights 3 hours or longer). Within Europe, some airlines (even non-budget carriers) offer no complimentary service in economy, with even a simple non-alcoholic beverage costing money.
However, back in November 2019, I flew Air India on a short flight of just 1.5 hours (from Mumbai to Nagpur and back) in economy class, and a full, complimentary hot meal was served on board, nearly akin to a meal served on a long-haul flight. The food (idli sambar) tasted really good, and it's clear that they put a lot of thought into short-haul economy catering.
I also found out later that Sun-Air Scandinavia also served full hot meals on their short flights, averaging about 1 hour.
I'm asking this question in a similar style as What's the longest distance that can be traveled by only using free transportation?: what's the shortest flight on which a full, hot meal was served to all passengers onboard?
(Note that this question is being asked in the past tense. I'm well aware that many airlines are cutting service during the pandemic, but this question is asking on which flight was there one served.)
- The meal must be fully complimentary to all passengers in all cabins, meaning that no payment onboard, at the gate, at check-in, or at the time of booking should be required. Additionally, the meal shouldn't be restricted to specific ticket types (e.g. meals only served to those who've purchased a fully flexible ticket don't count).
- The main part of the meal should be served hot.
- The meal should have at least one side, cold or hot. Ideally, it should be served on a tray, similar to how a typical long-haul meal is served.
- Times are based on the departure and arrival times as printed on the ticket, i.e. the gate-to-gate times, as these are usually the times used by airlines to see what kind of catering a specific flight is to receive. In case of ties, actual flying time can be used.
- The flight must be a general, scheduled commercial flight, on which anyone can purchase a ticket and fly. (In other words, flights on private planes don't count.)