Delta CEO on Masks: 'We Will Not Forcibly Remove You From the Plane'

A significant storyline for airlines as travelers return to the skies is the facial coverings policies put in place to help curb the spread of coronavirus and how they can be enforced.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said during an interview with Axios on HBO the carrier’s crew members would not be allowed to forcibly remove passengers from flights if they choose not to wear a protective mask.

In May, Delta announced that all passengers and employees would be required to wear a facial covering at airports and on planes, but the airline has faced issues enforcing the guidelines without a federal mandate from the U.S. government.

“If you take your mask off, no, we will not forcibly remove you from the plane,” Bastian said during the interview. “If the government were to mandate it, I think that would help, because if the government mandated it, then you could enforce it.”

Bastian also revealed the carrier’s year-over-year revenue for the second quarter is expected to be down by around 90 percent, but Delta added roughly 1,000 new flights to its schedule for July and plans to add another 1,000 in August as demand continues to grow.

Earlier this week, Delta announced it would become the first U.S. carrier to re-connect flights between America and China since the coronavirus outbreak in February when it resumes service on June 25.

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