Even as the coronavirus pandemic persists, Kelly says that Southwest has instituted new sanitation and social distancing policies, while rejecting the idea that the virus can be quickly transmitted within the confines of an aircraft.
When asked on CBS’s Face the Nation if he thinks it’s safe to fly now, Kelly responded, “It is.” He continued, “We’re doing everything possible to encourage people to come back and fly.”
He explained that all of the airline’s planes are going through “very deep cleanings” every day and that employees and customers will be instructed to wear face masks. He also said that Southwest isn’t booking flights at capacity, and thus is “exercising social distancing.”
“[We’re] doing everything we can to make it as safe as humanly possible,” he said. “I don’t think the risk on an airplane is any greater risk than anywhere else.”
According to Kelly, the airline’s business has improved, with each week in April being “successfully better” than the previous week—and believes May will be better than April. He also mentioned that flights have been booked for July and August, though those can “easily be canceled.”
According to The Hill, Southwest saw a quarterly loss of $94 million at the end of April, a first in nine years.