Two main airline CEOs query the necessity for masks on planes

, Two main airline CEOs query the necessity for masks on planes


The feedback from American Airways (AAL) CEO Doug Parker — the nation’s largest service — and Southwest (LUV) CEO Gary Kelly got here throughout a listening to concerning the financial support that airlines received from the federal government in 2020 and 2021. However the subject of masks arose by way of a query from Sen. Roger Wicker, the rating Republican on the Senate committee holding the listening to.

“I feel the case may be very robust that masks do not add a lot, if something, within the air cabin atmosphere. It is extremely protected and really prime quality in comparison with every other indoor setting,” stated Kelly.

Each Kelly and Parker, who every have introduced plans to retire as CEOs within the coming months, talked about that high-grade HEPA air filters on planes seize just about all airborne contamination and air high quality is helped by how continuously cabin air is exchanged with fresh air from outside the cabin.

“I concur. An plane is the most secure place you will be,” stated Parker. “It is true of all of our plane — all of them have the identical HEPA filters and air circulate.”

After the listening to, American Airways tried to stroll again Parker’s remarks. It issued a press release claiming that his concurrence with Kelly was on the purpose concerning the high quality of the air within the plane cabin, not masks necessities.

Sara Nelson, the president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants, testified on the listening to that not all plane are geared up with the identical high quality of air filters. For instance, some older planes should not have HEPA filters, she stated.

The masks requirement remains to be a source of controversy. A lot of the steep rise of in incidents involving unruly passengers over the past two years have revolved round passengers being ordered to put on masks.
, Two main airline CEOs query the necessity for masks on planes

“I feel that’s most likely for the medical group to resolve quite than me,” Nelson added. “What I’ll add is that the research which have been accomplished [on masks]….had been accomplished with mannequins that had been sitting straight ahead with masks on, not eradicating them, not consuming.”

“It is very important acknowledge that the protected, managed atmosphere on planes…contains the HEPA filters that aren’t on all plane,” she concluded.

Masks on planes are required by the federal authorities, following the steering of the Facilities for Illness Management. The DOT didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the testimony.

The remarks by Kelly and Parker had been criticized by one committee member, Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

“I am shocked that a number of the CEOs right here at the moment have advised we now not want masks mandates on planes,” he stated. “Within the face of Omicron, kids underneath 5 who nonetheless can’t be vaccinated….and that we nonetheless enable unvaccinated individuals on planes.” He stated it was “immoral” to take the place that folks on planes might be compelled to take a seat subsequent to unvaccinated people who find themselves not carrying masks.

Nelson, who Markey was questioning, agreed that whereas she hopes that at some point masks won’t be required, she doesn’t help lifting the masks mandate right now.

“I consider that the federal government has taken a really accountable strategy to this,” she stated. “We consider it ought to proceed to remain in place. It is a office security difficulty. We do want a constant message although. It troubles me too to listen to totally different messages. I might hope we’re going to keep on the identical messages and comply with the medical specialists and do what’s essential to maintain all people protected.”

Nelson stated that the arrogance within the security of air journey is the explanation persons are keen to purchase airline tickets in close to pre-pandemic ranges at the moment. She stated that the masks mandate is among the components resulting in that confidence by airline passengers.


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