Several US airline executives have asked President Joe Biden to lift the mandatory mask requirement onboard planes. The mask requirement is no longer essential in the present climate, according to CEOs of airlines such as American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.
Leading executives of major US airlines believe the federal mask rule should be removed, according to a letter written by Airlines for America (ATA), since it "no longer fits with the reality of the current epidemiological environment."
According to the letter, which was written to President Joe Biden, "Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions. Much has changed since these measures were imposed and they no longer make sense in the current public health context."
The letter was signed by the CEOs of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air Worldwide, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and UPS Airlines. The White House declined to comment on the letter.
"[Several studies] have concluded that a plane cabin is one of the safest indoor environments due to the combination of highly filtered air and constant airflow, coupled with the downward direction of the air," airline executives said, citing the use of air filtration systems and vertical airflow in aircraft cabins.
The letter added, "It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do."