Major airline executives were seated next to each other during the hearing and didn’t wear masks during testimony
The CEO of Southwest Airlines Gary Kelly was found to be positive for COVID-19 on Friday. This comes just two days after Kelly testified alongside other airline executives at an U.S. Senate hearing.
“Despite testing negative multiple times before the Senate Commerce Committee Hearing,” Gary tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to his home and experiencing mild symptoms. He then took a PCR test,” a spokesperson from Southwest told FOX Business.
The spokesperson said that Gary is currently doing well and resting at home. He has been fully vaccinated, and had received the booster earlier in the year. “Gary’s symptoms are still mild and he is getting closer to full recovery.”
Kelly was present before the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday, at a table with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby.
American Airlines sent an email Friday stating that Doug was feeling well, had been fully vaccinated, and that he is currently being tested. United also stated that Kirby had tested negative on Friday.
At the same table, John Laughter (Delta Air Lines Executive Vice President) and Chief of Operations for Delta Air Lines were also present along with Sara Nelson (Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President).
Delta released a statement saying that John Laughter, Chief of Operations, had tested negative today and yesterday. He will continue testing and taking other precautions as needed.”
Ms. Kelly stated that Gary Kelly advised her shortly after he had tested positive. This was ironically just as she was returning to work from the booster shot. I’m following CDC protocols. I will test multiple times in the 5-7-day recommended time frame, before I travel with my family for holidays. She said, “Get vaxxed. Wear a mask. Be kind.”
Kelly was the only executive to wear a mask during his testimony. After being asked by a senator if passengers would ever again be able ride on a plane without a mask, Kelly made headlines.
Kelly clarified his comments in a Friday update to Southwest employees, saying that he had misunderstood some by giving a brief answer to a question regarding masks. To be clear, I, Southwest and the A4A support the federal mask mandate on planes and at airports. It is not being changed before it expires.
Kelly wrote that “Southwest adopted an onboard mask mandate last year, well before the federal government required.” “The majority of our Customers and Employees feel it has been an essential layer of protection. I agree with them.”