United Airlines broadens mask requirements for passengers
As cases of novel coronavirus continue to spike in various countries, United Airlines has announced the expansion of its mask mandate.
Passengers wishing to board any of the airline's flights must now wear face masks at ticket counters and in United's airport lounges. Officials say passengers who refuse to follow the new protocol are at risk of being banned from the carrier.
United and all other major U.S. carriers had already required passengers to wear masks during flights, but on Wednesday the company announced a broadening of its mask requirements.
The only plane passengers not required to don the face coverings are children under two years of age and those with health conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask.
The Associated Press reports that on Tuesday, United reported a $1.6 billion loss during the normally strong second quarter, as revenue plunged 89% from the same period last year.
Air travel was slowly recovering before it stalled in the last few weeks as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged, especially in the South. About 530,000 people went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports on Tuesday, the lowest number in July other than the July 4 holiday.
Falling demand may lead to lower ticket prices. United CEO Scott Kirby told CNBC that he expects fares to decline in the short run.
Kirby and other United executives are expected talk about the company's outlook and the results from the most recent quarter Wednesday.