Statement from A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio Regarding Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel

WASHINGTON, January 22, 2021 – This week, President Biden announced an Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel, including a temporary federal face covering mandate for all domestic modes of public transportation. A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio issued the following statement in support of this action:

Airlines for America (A4A) welcomes President Biden’s dedication to supporting the U.S. airline industry and appreciate his leadership on policies that promote restoring travel in a way that prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of all passengers and employees.

We appreciate the Biden Administration’s decision to implement a federal face covering mandate for all domestic modes of public transportation, including airports and commercial aircraft. The safety and wellbeing of passengers and employees is always the top priority of the U.S. airlines. We recognize that face coverings are a critical measure in our multi-layered approach to protecting the traveling public, which is why U.S. airlines have been vigorously enforcing face covering requirements since April 2020. We welcome the federal mandate as an additional layer of support, which will strengthen our flight crews’ ability to enforce face covering requirements for the duration of the pandemic.

U.S. airlines have been strong advocates for a national testing standard set by the federal government and appreciate that the Executive Order moves our country forward on a framework for testing. We remain hopeful that this announcement will be followed by a recognition that testing can be used to safely resume travel without quarantines, which are difficult to enforce and often prove ineffective. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Administration to implement programs and policies that can be relied upon to defeat this virus, restore economic growth and enable the safe and responsible lifting of travel restrictions and quarantines.


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at

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