Southwest Airways mentioned Friday that it deliberate to begin serving alcohol on flights later this month, practically two years after it suspended the service amid coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

The transfer, opposed by the union representing the airline’s flight attendants, will make American Airways the final of the 4 main airways nonetheless not permitting alcohol gross sales for many passengers.

Saying that clients have expressed a want for extra beverage choices, Southwest announced that it could restore the sale of alcoholic drinks beginning Feb. 16 on flights of 176 miles or longer. The airline additionally mentioned that it could broaden its nonalcoholic choices.

Officers from the union that represents the airline’s flight attendants mentioned they have been “outraged” on the “unsafe and irresponsible” determination.

“We’ve got adamantly and unequivocally knowledgeable administration that resuming gross sales of alcohol whereas the masks mandate is in place has the nice potential to extend buyer noncompliance and misconduct points,” Lyn Montgomery, president of TWU Native 556, mentioned in an announcement.

A federal mandate requires that passengers put on masks always whereas within the airport and through flights, besides whereas consuming, ingesting or taking medicines for temporary intervals. Enforcement of the mandate has led to abusive passenger conduct, together with assaults of flight attendants.

The chief government of Delta Air Strains mentioned in a letter despatched Thursday to the legal professional normal, Merrick B. Garland, that the federal government ought to put passengers convicted of disrupting flights on a no-fly record, calling it a “much-needed step” towards addressing a spike in violence aboard planes.

A spokeswoman for American Airways mentioned on Friday that the corporate had not but set a date for the return of alcohol in the principle cabins of planes. Alcohol is obtainable in top notch. She mentioned the airline would work intently with its union and medical specialists to find out when alcohol gross sales will return to the principle cabins.

Delta Air Strains resumed alcohol gross sales in its predominant cabins in April, and United Airways did so in November.

In Could, Southwest Airways introduced that it had paused plans to renew serving alcohol on flights, citing the “latest uptick industrywide of incidents in-flight involving disruptive passengers.”

“We notice this determination might be disappointing for some clients, however we really feel it to be the suitable determination now within the curiosity of security and luxury of all onboard,” the assertion on the time mentioned.

It was unclear what had modified since then. A spokesman for the airline declined to remark past the corporate’s official assertion.

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