JetBlue’s CEO David Neeleman has criticized the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including widespread mask-wearing, as a complete overreaction.
“I think people who wear masks outside when they’re social distanced are complete morons,” he told Bloomberg. Double-maskers bother Neeleman the most: “I just want to go up and shake them and go, ‘What the f— is wrong with you!,” he said.
It’s not the first time Neeleman has spoken in opposition to mask mandates and other pandemic measures like lockdowns. Last October, he tweeted: “I continue to believe that it is less safe to require everyone to wear ineffective cloth masks and gators which gives a false sense of security.”
Neeleman’s views underpin his desire to get the economy rolling after the airline industry took a massive hit due to restricted travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even during the widespread global disruption, Neeleman’s impatience led him to start his fifth airline, Breeze Airways, last December 2020.
Breeze was scheduled to launch flights in late-2020 but these were delayed due to the pandemic. The airline’s website now displays the message: “Welcome to Breeze Airways, a new airline scheduled for take-off in 2021!”
Breeze joins Neeleman’s other airlines Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue Airways, and Azul Brazilian Airlines.
The new venture aims to provide a convenient, low-cost alternative to the dominant airlines, as previously reported by Insider.