Delta adds hundreds of passengers to no-fly list over mask policy violations
© Greg Nash

The CEO of Delta Air Lines reportedly revealed in a memo to employees that the carrier has added 460 people to its no-fly list for not wearing masks during flights.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have focused our efforts on protecting our people, our customers and our communities,” Ed Bastian said in the memo, according to ABC News.

“Wearing a mask is among the simplest and most effective actions we can take to reduce transmission, which is why Delta has long required them for our customers and our people,” he added. "As of this week, we’ve added 460 people to our no-fly list for refusing to comply with our mask requirement."

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Bastian reportedly alluded to rising COVID-19 cases across the country as further justification for the move.

In August, a Delta plane returned to its gate when two passengers refused to wear masks. The passengers were removed from the plane.

ABC News notes other recent incidents related to mask usage have resulted in flight delays and flight attendants being assaulted when requesting passengers comply with company policies.

The airline industry has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby predicted earlier this month that airlines would not fully return to pre-pandemic levels of activity until 2024.

In early October, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Democrats deals to bolster support for relief bill | Biden tries to keep Democrats together | Retailers fear a return of the mask wars Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief Biden urges Democrats to advocate for rescue package MORE (D-Calif.) called on airlines to hold off on furloughs, saying a relief bill would soon come with provisions made for airline workers.

“Today, I am calling upon the airlines to delay their devastating job cuts as relief for airline workers is being advanced in Congress,” said Pelosi.

In a move to avoid furloughs, Southwest Airlines asked worker unions to accept pay cuts, with CEO Gary Kelly referring to furloughs as a “last resort.”

Negotiations between Democrats and the White House have thus far failed to yield another coronavirus stimulus package, however.