CEOs of major US airlines urged President Joe Biden to drop the federal mask requirements on flights and airports. The airlines also wanted the government to end international pre-departure testing mandates.
Airline CEOs Urge Biden To Drop Mask Requirements
Currently, the federal government imposes mask mandates on airline passengers at terminals and during flights.
The government also requires international travelers to submit to a COVID testing protocol prior to departure.
The testing and mask mandates were set to expire on March 18, but the White extended the rule until April 18.
Now, the CEOs of 10 major airlines think that the time for these guidelines is already over. On Wednesday, heads of American, United, Delta, Alaska, Atlas, Hawaiian, UPS, FedEx, Southwest, and JetBlue airlines sent Biden a letter.
They strongly urged the President to end the federal airline passenger testing and mask mandates. They said that the restrictions “are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment.”
‘No Sense In Requiring Masks’
The letter also said that it seems unfair to issue mask requirements on airplanes when people remain maskless everywhere else. Ironically, only airplanes have a protective air filtration system.
The letter cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data saying that “the science clearly supports lifting the mask mandate.”
Meanwhile, the White House did not comment on the airline CEO’s letter. However, the agency said that it’s working with the CDC. They are jointly developing a transportation “policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required”.
Delta CEO Says Mask Requirements No Longer Fit Current Environment
In a separate statement, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian also said that airline testing and mask mandates don’t fit current public health conditions anymore.
He said that with the “improved public health metrics in the US and medical advancements,” mandates are already unnecessary.
Bastien also mentioned that lifting mask mandates can help “thousands of airline employees charged with enforcing” the rules.
Mask requirements are often a source of conflicts during flights during the past two years. Since January 2021, the Federal Aviation Authority recorded 6,942 unruly passenger incidents. 70% of these incidents involved conflicts involving mask rules.
Senate Already Voted To Remove PUblic Transportation Mask Mandates
Last week, the Senate voted 57 to 40 to remove the order requiring masks on public transportation, including aircraft. However, Biden immediately threatened to veto the bill once it reached his desk.
Republicans noted that the CDC said that 99.5% of Americans live in places where masks are no longer necessary.
Watch the 10 Tampa Bay news video reporting that Airline CEOs urge President Biden to lift mask requirement on flights, in airports:
Do you support the petition to remove testing and mask requirements in airports and inside planes? Or, will dropping this requirement increases the probability of COVID outbreaks?
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