United CEO says the mask mandates aren’t coming back

According to United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said he doesn’t believe that mask mandates are coming back anytime soon following a decision earlier in the week to strike down the requirement for for public transit. 

The Hill cited Kirby’s comments from Thursday saying he doesn’t think that the Department of Justice will win their appeal of the ruling by the federal judge that ended the mandate pertaining to federal transportation.

“We were on the road, I think, to removing the masks even before the judge’s ruling,” Kirby said in an interview with “Today.” “This appeal is mostly about jurisdiction. I think it’s very unlikely the mask requirement is going to come back anytime in the foreseeable future.”

Kirby said he thinks airplanes and airports are some of the safest indoor places to be due to their air filtration systems, and even when asked about the immunocompromised people or those under five who are not vaccinated, Kirby said that anyone flying United Airlines flights is welcome to wear a mask if they choose.

“All of our customers should feel free to wear a mask, and many of them are,” Kirby said. “For customers like that, that are immunocompromised or that have other concerns or issues, we are working with those customers if they really don’t want to fly.”

This following news that the Justice Department has appealed a ruling from U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on Wednesday following a request from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which stated it was their opinion that it was unsafe to pull the mandate.

Airlines, buses and trains as well as some car services latched onto the ruling immediately, many of whom implemented it immediately and allowed passengers to unmask as soon as the ruling was announced.

Indivuals previously banned from United Airlines for not complying with mask mandates have been allowed to book flights with the airlines once again in many cases, and Kirby said that the airline will allow those back who’s only issue was the masks.

Delta Air Lines also announced Wednesday that they would implement a similar policy and allow those who were previously banned for mask violations back on flights but “only after each case is reviewed and each customer demonstrates an understanding of their expected behavior when flying with us.”