Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, along with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, spoke on their opinions about the effectiveness of masks on airplanes. The two US-based carrier executives were questioned during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

The men were in attendance to talk about the bailout funds that airlines had received during the pandemic when Mississippi’s Senator, Roger Wicker, asked if they felt masks should be mandated on planes.

“I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment,” Kelly of Southwest Airlines, told lawmakers during the congressional hearing Wednesday. “It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”

American Airline’s CEO chimed into the conversation, adding:

“An aircraft is the safest place you can be. It’s true of all of our aircraft — they all have the same HEPA filters and airflow.”

While many airlines have pointed out during the pandemic that HEPA filters are very effective on planes, Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, disagreed.

“It is important to recognize that the safe, controlled environment on planes…includes the HEPA filters that are not on all aircraft,” she said, pointing out that not all HEPA systems are created equal.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey wasn’t too thrilled about the CEO’s suggestions that masks are necessary, either.

“I’m shocked that some of the CEOs here today have suggested we no longer need masks mandates on planes,” Markey said. “In the face of Omicron, children under five who still cannot be vaccinated… and that we still allow unvaccinated people on planes.”

As of now, the federal mask mandate on airplanes is still in effect into 2022. There is no word on whether this mandate will be relaxed, especially as the United States and the world battles the latest variant, Omicron.