The board of directors for Airlines for America has sent a letter to President Joe Biden, signed by the heads of 10 major commercial and cargo airlines, asking the president on Wednesday to end the transportation mask mandate, along with pre-departure COVID-19 testing mandates for international flights.
The signatories include Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, UPS Airlines and American Airlines. Others that signed include the CEOs of Fedex Express, United Airlines Holdings, Alaska Air Group, JetBlue Airways, Atlas Air Worldwide and Hawaiian Airlines.
The letter says, "Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions." It says that the restrictions are "no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment."
Airlines to Biden: Drop the Mask Mandate.— Kris Van Cleave (@krisvancleave) March 23, 2022
10 CEOs of US passenger and Cargo airlines send letter to President Biden calling for an end to the onboard mask mandate and predepature testing rules pic.twitter.com/Xcl1kWJ3pf
The letter goes on the say, "Our industry has leaned into science at every turn. At the outset, we voluntarily implemented policies and procedures -- mandating face coverings; requiring passenger health acknowledgements [sic] and contact tracing information; and enhancing cleaning protocols – to form a multi-layered approach to mitigate risk and prioritize the wellbeing of passengers and employees. We supported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they made some of these policies federal mandates and imposed additional measures, like predeparture testing and vaccination requirements for international travelers, in an to attempt to slow the introduction of variants into the United States."