The CEO of Southwest Airlines has testified that wearing masks on flights is a waste of time and an act of virtue signaling by those who put them on.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly made the claim during a Senate hearing on Wednesday. According to Kelly, the sophisticated air filtration systems used in planes are far more effective at protecting passengers than cloth masks.
After Delta Air Lines Executive VP John Laughter and United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby testified that the air on aircraft with HEPA filtration systems is the safest you can possibly breathe in an indoor environment, Sen. Roger Wicker questioned whether Americans would ever be able to board planes without wearing a mask again.
Kelly responded, “I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment. It’s very safe, very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”
Rt.com reports: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker appeared to agree with Kelly’s statement, adding, “I concur. The aircraft is the safest place you can be. It’s true of all of our aircraft, they all have these HEPA filters and the same air flow.”
Sara Nelson, the international president of Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, however, responded by noting that not all aircraft contain HEPA filtration systems. Nelson also argued that masks are one of the many layers keeping passengers safe, which include other measures such as aircraft sanitation, cabin crew protocols, and filtration.
Due to US Covid-19 laws set by the Biden administration, Southwest Airlines passengers aged two and above are required to wear a mask for the entirety of their flight. In September, the White House announced that the Transport Security Administration (TSA) would be doubling its fines for passengers who refuse to wear a mask.