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Eleven major airline service and travel company CEOs sent a letter to the White House asking for an end to ongoing COVID restrictions.
The letter called for the onboarding mask mandate and international pre-boarding COVID testing to end immediately instead of the slated deadline of April 18.
The Dallas Morning News reported that an initial deadline was set for March 18, until it was delayed an added month by the White House.
The letter called for the Biden administration to alter their policy according to comprehensive COVID data and the CDC’s updates on mask-wearing.
Nationwide, masks mandates have been eliminated from public health policy as hospitalizations and death rates wane against widespread natural immunity and high vaccination rates in the US.
Included in the letter:
- Ben Minicucci, Alaska Air Group
- W. Douglas Parker, American Airlines
- John W. Dietrich, Atlas Air Worldwide
- Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines
- Steve Struminger, FedEx Express
- Peter R. Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines
- Robin Hayes, JetBlue Airways
- Gary C. Kelly, Southwest Airlines
- Scott Kirby, United Airlines Holdings
- Brendan Canavan, UPS Airlines
- Nicholas E. Calio, Airlines For America
“[N]ow is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions — including the international pre-departure testing requirement and the federal mask mandate,” the letter declared, “that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment.”
Also noted in the letter were the outspoken air travel employees that helped lead the call for an end to COVID restrictions — vexed by the enforcement of COVID restrictions.
On Tuesday, Delta Airlines issued a direct demand to President Biden asking for an end to mask-wearing.
“In the spirit of bringing normalcy back to our front lines as aviation’s first responders, we ask that you consider lifting the federal mask mandate for airline travel and will move expeditiously to restore choice to aviation professionals and the flying public.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela