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Gov. Ron DeSantis seeks to reassure travelers that flying is safe again

No coronavirus outbreaks from flying, airline officials say
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Posted at 11:47 AM, Aug 28, 2020

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion with aviation officials in Broward County on Friday in an effort to reassure the public that it is safe to fly despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor spoke at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with the state transportation secretary and South Florida aviation officials from Broward and Miami-Dade County.

DeSantis said he believes flying is safe because there have not been any large COVID-19 outbreaks from aviation travel.

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"The fact of the matter is the airplanes have just not been vectors where you've seen a lot of spread of the coronavirus. That's just the reality," DeSantis said.

The governor also spoke about the continued declined in coronavirus cases in Florida.

"We have had really strong, durable declines in almost every indicator," DeSantis said.

Officials from JetBlue and Broward County-based Spirit airlines spoke about the procedures and cleaning they are doing on planes to ensure passengers and employees are safe while flying.

"We've had zero outbreaks at Spirit," John Bendoraitis, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Spirit Airlines. "That air changes every two or three minutes (on an airplane)."

Bendoraitis said he was not aware of any coronavirus outbreaks on any other airline carriers.

The governor said he supported the flight restrictions to Europe when they were imposed earlier this year, but hinted those should be lifted.

"I think that has served its purpose," DeSantis said. "I don't know if those restrictions need to be in place anymore."

DeSantis said he would look at the number of hospital visits due to the coronavirus when deciding if Palm Beach County and the rest of South Florida could enter phase two of reopening.

"I am working with Palm Beach on (moving to phase 2)," DeSantis said. "I want to do it."