Delta flight turns around after 2 passengers refuse to wear coronavirus masks

The plane eventually made it to its destination

A Delta flight departing from Detroit had to turn around when customers refused to wear face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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"On July 23, Flight 1227 from Detroit to Atlanta returned to the gate following two customers who were non-compliant with crew instructions," Delta confirmed to FOX Business. "After a short delay, the aircraft departed to Atlanta."

The incident occurred as airlines are grappling with both reduced passenger numbers and passengers' fears of contracting the virus in close quarters.

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Many airlines, including American Airlines and Spirit Airlines, have warned of layoffs as many airline industry employees are retiring early or facing furloughs.

In this July 22, 2020 photo, a ticketing agent for Delta Airlines hands a boarding pass to a passenger as he checks in for a flight in the main terminal of Denver International Airport in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Delta Air Lines has a "real shot" at avoiding layoffs and furloughs, despite the devastating toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on the airline industry, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in July.

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"One of the things we said at the beginning of the pandemic was that if we could avoid layoffs, certainly minimize layoffs, that would be a real testament to the strength of the company," Bastian told "Mornings with Maria." "We've got a real shot at doing just that."

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DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.27.18+0.10+0.37%

More than 17,000 people, or 20 percent of Delta's workforce, agreed to early retirement, Bastian said.

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Airlines cannot lay off employees before Oct. 1, under the terms agreed upon when accepting the aid package from the federal government. Congress approved $25 billion in payroll assistance to airlines in March and seems poised to extend the program.

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