Unable to build functioning android/ios app after upgrade to Cordova 5.3.3

After upgrade to the latest version the build produced for Android/iOS results in
Exception caught: plugins is not defined. Stack trace: ReferenceError: plugins is not defined
cordova-plugin-whitelist was added and meta tag Content-Security-Policy as well

Removing plugins/{android,ios}.json and re-adding the platform did not help.

Android build tools: 23.0.1
Cordova CLI: 5.3.3
Ionic Version: 1.1.0
Ionic CLI Version: 1.7.7
Ionic App Lib Version: 0.6.3
ios-deploy version: 1.8.2
ios-sim version: 5.0.3
OS: Mac OS X El Capitan
Node Version: v0.12.7
Xcode version: Xcode 7.1 Build version 7B91b