Hawaiian Airlines has joined other major U.S. air carriers to require passengers to wear face masks in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
JetBlue announced its new policy on Wednesday, with American, Delta, and United following suit on Thursday. Hawaiian, Southwest and Alaska announced similar requirements on Friday.
Hawaiian Airlines also detailed other new procedures on Friday, including implementing social distancing measures at check-in, boarding and during the flight.
“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, in a statement. “We appreciate our guests’ understanding and flexibility as we adapt our operations with their well-being guiding every decision we make.”
Hawaiian’s mask policy will go into effect beginning May 8. The airline explained that passengers must “wear a face mask or covering that effectively covers the mouth and nose, from checking-in at the airport to deplaning at their destination.” It makes an exemption for young children and those with medical conditions that prevent use of a face covering.
As for social distancing procedures, the airline also said it will modify certain pre-flight and in-flight processes beginning May 8. Passengers will be required to remain seated at the gate until boarding for their row is called. Passengers in the main cabin will board from the rear of the aircraft in small groups.
Hawaiian Airlines already has been increasing personal space on its flights and plans to begin blocking middle seats and other select seats on aircraft next week in order to further distance passengers from one another.