Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly believes it’s safe to fly again and is hopeful business will pick up for the airline.
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“We’re doing everything possible to encourage people to come back and fly,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan. “We’re cleaning airplanes and we’re requiring masks for our employees and our customers. We’re using very deep cleanings every night. We’re using electrostatic misters, which will kill the virus on surfaces for up to thirty days. We’re exercising social distancing. And onboard the aircraft, we won’t be booking aircraft full, so that people can spread out.”
Other airlines including Delta, United, American, and JetBlue are all also requiring passengers to wear face masks.
Southwest Airlines reported a quarterly loss of $94 million in April. Kelly says business has improved each week of the last month and expects it to continue to do so.
Kelly says 400 aircrafts have been grounded during the pandemic. “The demand is not there,” he said. “So, obviously if things don’t improve we have to downsize.”
“[We’re] doing everything we can to make it as safe as humanly possible,” he added. “I don’t think the risk on an airplane is any greater risk than anywhere else.”