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Ten Airline CEOs Call for Biden to End Passenger Mask Mandate

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Ten chief executive officers of major airlines are calling upon President Joe Biden to finally end the federal mask mandate for aircraft passengers.

The aviation industry leaders issued the letter to Biden on Wednesday.

The airlines are also asking Biden to put an end to coronavirus test requirements imposed on international travel.

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“Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions — including the international predeparture testing requirement and the federal mask mandate — that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment,” the wrote.

The CEO’s of Alaska, Atlas, Delta, American, Hawaiian, JetBlue, FedEx Express, Southwest, United and UPS Airlines all signed the letter. The CEO of Airlines for America, a trade association that represents air carriers, also signed.

The executives cited scientific evidence suggesting that masks provide little to no protection against coronavirus in the letter.

“Several studies completed before we had the added layer of widespread availability of vaccines … have concluded that an airplane cabin is one of the safest indoor environments due to the combination of highly filtered air and constant air flow coupled with the downward direction of the air,” they wrote.

Is it well past time to take off the masks?

The executives questioned why a federal mask mandate still applies to passenger travel, even after mask mandates have been broadly removed from sporting events and other places of public accommodation in American life.

“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,” they wrote.

The executives referred to the “burden” imposed upon their employees, who have been roped into becoming de facto mask commissars and harassing mask-free passengers on planes.

The CEO of Southwest previously indicated that masks “don’t add much, if anything” in protection against coronavirus on planes.

Greg Kelly was speaking at a December congressional panel.

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Major airlines have already barred hundreds of Americans from flying entirely for refusing to wear masks.

Biden has yet to respond to the request from airline industry leaders.

Coronavirus restrictions have gradually been eroded across the United States in 2022, with the omicron variant of the disease considered more mild and resulting in fewer deaths.

If the federal aircraft mask mandate were to be removed, public schools would stand as the only major venue in which masks are forced on Americans.

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