Southwest Airlines CEO says it is safe to travel again

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said Sunday that he thinks air travel is safe again amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kelly touted new sanitation and social distancing measures, and dismissed concerns over the virus spreading in the tight quarters of an aircraft. 

Asked by CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan if he thinks it is safe to fly again, Kelly said “it is.” 

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“We’re doing everything possible to encourage people to come back and fly,” he said. 

Kelly said Southwest's aircraft are undergoing “very deep cleanings” every night, and employees and customers are required to wear masks. 

He also said the airline is “exercising social distancing” on aircrafts by not booking planes to their full capacity. 

“[We’re] doing everything we can to make it as safe as humanly possible,” he said. 

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“I don’t think the risk on an airplane is any greater risk than anywhere else,” he added. 

Kelly said that the airline has seen business starting to pick up. He said each week in April was “successfully better” than the one before and he expects May will be better than last month.  

He also said that there are bookings in July and August, but noted that those can “easily be cancelled.”

Southwest at the end of April reported a quarterly loss of $94 million -- its first in nine years.