Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly stirred up some controversy Wednesday when he suggested that wearing masks on planes did little to prevent the spread of Covid. "I think the case is very strong that masks don't add much if anything in the air cabin environment," he said in response to a question at a Senate hearing. "It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting."
Two days later Southwest disclosed that Kelly, who was not wearing a mask at the hearing, had tested positive for Covid. It's clear that Kelly is right that the air on planes is safer than most any other indoor setting, including most offices and stores. Not only does it pass through medical-grade HEPA filters, but the cabin air is exchanged with outside air consistently throughout the flights.