American Airlines will be using an antimicrobial disinfecting spray on its planes to kill the novel coronavirus. It received the approval of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to disinfect its aircraft.
The disinfecting spray, which is SurfaceWise2 is made by Dallas-based Allied BioScience Inc. However, it has been shown to kill the pathogen on certain surfaces for up to seven days.
However, this is the strongest and first long-lasting product approved by the agency. To help fight the spread of the virus that has killed more than 176,000 Americans. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said on Monday.
“This is a major, game-changing announcement for our efforts to combat coronavirus and COVID-19,” he said.
“This is a groundbreaking step that is expected to provide longer-lasting protection in public spaces. Increasing consumer confidence in resuming normal air travel and other activities.”
American Airlines will disinfect its airplane cabins in its home base of Texas. After the state filed for a request for emergency approval.
SurfaceWise2 works by binding to surfaces, creating an invisible barrier that breaks down and kills virus particles for up to one week.
However, by this disinfecting spray chances of transmitting the virus are less. Especially from high-touch areas such as seats, armrests, tray tables, and overhead bins.
Moreover, the airline plans to use this method on its entire fleet, including its American Eagle regional partners.
However, for now, the EPA is only using the spray at facilities in Texas. Including DFW International Airport, which is its largest hub.
Officials said still there is a need for cleansing and this spraying method does not reduce the need for cleaning.
“The American Airlines Clean Commitment is our promise that we’re taking bold measures. And using the latest products and technology to help ensure our customers’ well-being when they travel with us,” David Seymour, American’s CEO, said in a statement.
‘Thanks to rigorous evaluations conducted by the experienced professionals at the EPA, the American Airlines team, and Allied BioScience. Our multi-tiered program will become even stronger at safeguarding our customers and team members from viruses such as coronavirus and the flu.’
Airlines are implementing deeper cleaning and disinfecting procedures on airplanes and airport facilities. This is an effort to convince people that it is safe to resume flying during the pandemic.
The air traffic was at less than one-third as compared to the 2019 level, according to reports from the Transportation Security Administration.
Airlines Following Safety Measures
Southwest Airlines, which is also based in Texas, has been using a two-step process in its cabins that involves an EPA-approved disinfectant spray. It also uses an antimicrobial spray that coats surfaces for at least 30 days.
To convince customers that air travel is safe almost all airlines require passengers to wear face masks. Whereas some have added filters that bring new air into a plane every two to three minutes.
Some carriers, including Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest, are blocking the middle seats to ensure social distancing.