Southwest CEO Gary Kelly thinks face masks should be like pants: you have to wear them everywhere we go. In a CNBC appearance earlier this week, the CEO of the embattled airline pondered why masks aren’t simply mandated at this point.
The comment came as the CEO discussed his airline’s status in the face of the coronavirus pandemic with CNBC including many of the measures the airline has taken to improve the safety of passengers. These measures include more stringent rules on face masks, enhanced cleaning measures, and blocking middle seats through at least October.
“If people wear a mask, we can defeat this pandemic,” said Kelly. He further stated, “You have to wear pants, why can’t we mandate that you have to wear a mask in a pandemic.”
Southwest, who reported a $915 million dollar loss in the 2nd quarter, recently pledged to avoid laying off staff as it deals with a massive travel slowdown. Instead, the airline has reduced cost in other ways including offering voluntary separation programs encouraging staff to leave on their own accord.
All major airlines now require face masks while traveling despite a lack of national mandate to do so. In fact, many airlines have recently strengthened their face mask policies including refusing the let travelers fly without masks and even ban passengers for not complying with face masks.