Southwest Airways urges Biden administration to not call for COVID checks for domestic flights

A further airline CEO has urged the federal authorities to not make coronavirus tests required for domestic flights.

Southwest Airlines Co.’s Chairman and Main Government Gary C. Kelly despatched a letter tackled to President Joe Biden on Tuesday to request his administration to “refrain from imposing any federal mandate to require a pre-departure COVID-19 take a look at for air journey within just the United States.”


The letter was sent in reaction to a assertion built by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who just lately stated that there is an “lively discussion” likely on with the U.S. Facilities for Condition Regulate and Avoidance about probably mandating coronavirus tests just before domestic flights as a way to fight the pandemic.

Even so, Kelly’s reasoning for currently being towards COVID-19 tests before domestic flights stems from the supplemental fees it would need to do so, which could adversely have an impact on buyers who do not have access to screening sources.

Gary Kelly, chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines Co., addressed a letter to President Joe Biden and his administration to lobby against coronavirus testing for domestic flights. (Kholood Eid/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Gary Kelly, main executive officer of Southwest Airways Co., tackled a letter to President Joe Biden and his administration to lobby against coronavirus screening for domestic flights. (Kholood Eid/Bloomberg by means of Getty Photographs)

He also wrote the pre-flight tests for domestic travel would strain Southwest’s “constrained countrywide testing ability” that “is presently having difficulties to fulfill need, especially for people of restricted means or individuals in so-termed ‘testing desserts.’”

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The CEO went on to be aware that exterior of the dollars that would be necessary to check all Us residents before they board a flight, the mandate if passed could put “careers at threat” and “guide to more interactions among Consumers and Staff members.”

Also, Kelly’s letter suggested that a mandate for COVID-19 tests ahead of domestic flights may arrive a little much too late in light-weight of increasing vaccination prices and new coronavirus circumstances trending downward. Knowledge from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard display good circumstances have been on the decrease since mid-January.

The CEO of Southwest Airlines has argued that mandatory COVID-19 tests for domestic flights could present additional challenges for the airline industry. (iStock)

The CEO of Southwest Airways has argued that mandatory COVID-19 tests for domestic flights could present additional challenges for the airline market. (iStock)

A spokesperson from Southwest told Fox News that the CEO’s letter was also sent to senior officers at the Department of Transportation, Office of Homeland Stability and the Facilities for Illness Regulate and Avoidance.


Airline union executives signed the letter in support of Kelly’s stance, which include the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, the Transportation Staff Union of The usa, the Plane Mechanics Fraternal Association and the Global Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Southwest, like many other professional airlines, has implemented health and security measures that involve increased cleaning methods, HEPA filtration programs and mandatory confront mask wear for workers and travellers along with social distancing.

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Most commercial airlines have implemented health and safety measures to protect staff and passengers from the novel coronavirus, which includes mandatory face mask wear. (iStock)

Most professional airways have carried out well being and safety steps to safeguard personnel and travellers from the novel coronavirus, which features obligatory face mask have on. (iStock)

Right before Kelly’s letter was sent out, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian expressed criticism versus coronavirus screening for domestic flights in an interview with the Involved Press on Monday.

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“The amount of journey that we are carrying domestically in the U.S. — not just Delta, but across the field — would be considerably reduced from today’s currently reduced stages if domestic tests was demanded,” he advised the information outlet. “And we really do not have the facility or the technology or abilities to be administering or checking domestic testing.”

The Related Push contributed to this report.