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American Airlines will give face masks to passengers, require them for flight attendants amid coronavirus

A member of a floor crew walks previous American Airlines planes parked on the gate throughout the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, April 5, 2020.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines mentioned Monday they may require 1000’s of staff to put on face masks and supply masks for passengers, amid considerations concerning the unfold of the coronavirus.

Airline labor unions have repeatedly demanded stronger protections in opposition to coronavirus. While air journey within the U.S. is down some 95% from a yr in the past due to the virus and stay-at-home orders world wide, flight crews have raised considerations about catching the virus on the job and have sought federally mandated procedures.

American mentioned subsequent month it would begin handing out face masks and sanitizing wipes for passengers and require that its roughly 30,000 mainline and regional flight attendants put on masks whereas on responsibility.

Fort Worth, Texas-based American can also be going to step up cleansing procedures to disinfect areas together with tray tables, seat belt buckles, window shares and seat-back screens, galleys, soar seats and surfaces within the cockpit.

“Our team members on the frontline are truly going above and beyond during this time,” mentioned Kurt Stache, American’s senior vp of buyer expertise. “Their commitment is nothing short of incredible and we will continue to work with them to make sure they have the equipment they need to feel safe.”

Delta mentioned it would require staff to put on masks or face coverings any time it is unattainable to maintain a distance of six ft between themselves and a buyer or one other worker, beginning on Tuesday and thru June 30 “at which time we will reevaluate and update as necessary.”

“We are strongly encouraging our customers to wear masks and will make them available at ticket counters, gates and onboard airplanes,” 4 Delta officers mentioned in a employees memo, which was seen by CNBC.

United Airlines final week began mandating masks or different face coverings for flight attendants, following the same transfer by JetBlue Airways and Frontier Airlines.

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