Southwest CEO, unions urge Biden not to mandate domestic air COVID-19 testing

FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Gary Kelly and the leaders of the airline’s unions urged President Joe Biden not to mandate COVID-19 testing before domestic flights, warning it would put “jobs at risk.”

The letter dated Tuesday and released by the airline on Wednesday said “such a mandate would be counterproductive, costly, and have serious unintended consequences.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month said the Biden administration was “actively looking” at expanding mandatory COVID-19 testing to travelers on U.S. domestic flights, which has sparked push back from the aviation, aerospace and travel industries.

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