Starting May 8, guests of Hawaiian Airlines will need to be wearing a face mask or covering for all flights, the carrier has announced, joining the growing list of major U.S. airlines requiring passengers to wear face coverings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Hawaiian Airlines is enhancing health measures throughout its system by requiring travelers to wear face coverings starting May 8 and creating more personal space at check-in, boarding and during the flight, according to a statement released Friday by the carrier.
The statement added that young children unable to keep a face covering on or guests with a medical condition or disability preventing its use will be exempted from the policy.
Hawaiian Airlines said it has been manually assigning seats to increase personal space onboard. It will also begin blocking middle seats on its jets adjoining seats on ATR 42 turboprop aircraft, and other, select seats to provide more space for guests and flight attendants.
Last month, Hawaiian Airlines began using electrostatic spraying to comprehensively and evenly clean aircraft cabins with hospital-grade disinfectants.
“Taking care of our guests and employees has always been our primary focus, and these new health measures will help us maintain a safe travel experience, from our lobbies to our cabins, as Hawaii continues to make progress in containing COVID-19,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines.
Alaska Airlines, another major U.S. air carrier, also announced on Friday that face masks will be mandatory for guests starting May 11. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees who cannot maintain six feet of social distance from guests or co-workers will also be required to wear masks starting May 4.
American Airlines announced on Thursday that it will soon require all customers traveling to wear a face covering while on board the aircraft starting May 11.
JetBlue, Frontier, Southwest, Delta and United Airlines also said this week they will soon begin mandating passenger face coverings.
Airlines are suffering enormous losses from COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. U.S. airlines are trying to maintain their basic operations as air travel in the country continues to plummet due to the spread of the coronavirus.
U.S. airlines are reportedly seeking more than 50 billion U.S. dollars in aid from the federal government.