WASHINGTON: Representatives from some of the nation’s top airlines met with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Mar 4), saying they have stepped up their cleaning and other procedures amid concerns about COVID-19.

Representatives from Southwest Airlines Co, United Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue, among others, attended the meeting at the White House with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other top US officials.

READ: US death toll from COVID-19 rises to nine

Trump said the airlines would be hit from a fall in overseas travel related to the coronavirus but said there were some benefits to Americans staying in the United States for domestic travel. He said the executives had not asked for financial assistance to make up for the hit to their businesses.

READ: Health authorities expect COVID-19 community spread on US soil

United Airlines Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said his airline had promoted fist bumps as a way of greeting each other to reduce hand-to-hand contacts.

Alaska Air Group Chief Executive Brad Tilden said the whole industry had made changes to cleaning and onboard sanitation on planes.

American Airlines Group Chief Executive Doug Parker said American had offered flexibility to passengers who wanted to change their travel plans because of the disease.

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