Major Airlines’ Chief Executives Oppose Mandatory Masks on Planes

This week, the CEOs of two of the country’s top airlines stated they do not feel the Biden administration’s ongoing mask rule, which requires passengers to wear a mask, is necessary.

They argued traveling via air provides many safety benefits, given that airplanes are equipped with superior filtration equipment that removes practically all airborne contaminants from the cabin.

Aircraft Are the Safest Places to Be

On Wednesday, the CEOs of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines spoke at a Senate hearing about how the industry was helped financially during the pandemic.

CNN revealed that both CEOs, Kelly and Parker, said high-grade H.E.P.A. air filters on planes remove almost all airborne contaminants. They also revealed air quality is also helped by how often cabin air is swapped with clean air from outside the cabin.

Kelly stated he believes the case is excellent that masks don’t do very much, if anything at all, to make the air cabin more comfortable or safe. It is very secure and very high-quality, compared to other integrated settings that you could find.

Parker concurred, saying an airplane is the best place for you to be and he agrees with Kelly. Parker went on to say because all of their planes have the same H.E.P.A. filters and airflow configuration, this is true for all aircraft.

An analysis by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered the minor risk of coronavirus being spread on flights last October.

Air Ventilation in Airplanes

When COVID-19 happened, the report showed people could use technology and change how they act to allow some near-normal interaction, while lowering the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.

Following the report’s findings, it was discovered the ventilation of air on aircraft significantly decreases the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, compared to other typical settings, such as a grocery store or an indoor restaurant.

This effectively reduces the proximity passengers are subjected to on planes, which is good. Because planes frequently change their air and H.E.P.A. filters, which removes virus-carrying particles, over 99 percent of them are released from the cabin air.

One of the senators from Massachusetts, Ed Markey, was angry about the comments made by both executives. He was astounded and professed it was morally wrong for people who hadn’t been vaccinated to be still allowed on planes.

During a meeting with Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said she thinks the government has done an outstanding job. 

However, the government does need to have the same message to keep people interested. There are so many conflicting signals that it hurts people. If they stay on the same news and follow health personnel, she would hope they would keep everyone safe, too.