Delta CEO Ed Bastian wants the federal government to require travelers to wear masks on planes.
Bastian told CNN Business’ “Boss Files” he isn’t optimistic that a national mask requirement will be implemented.
“I feel strongly about it,” Bastian told host Poppy Harlow. “But I’m not sure some of my peers and other airlines feel the same way. So as a practical matter, I’m not sure it’s gonna happen.”
He said the airline industry hasn’t issued a strong, unified message asking the government for a mask mandate.
He said a vast majority of Delta passengers are following the airline’s rules and wearing a mask. But he said it is difficult to enforce a rule for travelers who don’t comply.
“We ask our customers to wear the mask, not only to safeguard themselves, but just as importantly safeguard others,” he said.
Last month, several U.S. airlines moved to ban passengers from booking future travel if they don’t wear masks. Delta is one of them.
“I think I can speak for corporate America: We’re all frustrated with the politicization of safeguarding the health and well-being of our employees, as well as our customers,” Bastian said.
Delta also has announced it will keep all middle seats empty on its plane through at least the end of September.
“I think it’s a really important safety feature,” he said. “Distance matters.”
Bastian said Delta is currently losing about $30 million a day, down from $100 million per day a few weeks ago. But he said the company is still facing potential layoffs.