American Airlines will be spraying a “virus-killing” coating on aircraft surfaces in an effort to boost consumer confidence in air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The new coating, known as SurfaceWise2, will be applied on surfaces inside the aircraft via electrostatic spraying throughout the carrier’s entire fleet “in the coming months” as part of the airline’s enhanced safety measures known as Clean Commitment.
The Fort Worth-based airline says the new coating, which was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), creates a “protective invisible layer that actively kills viruses”.
“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,” said David Seymour, American’s chief operating officer.
“Thanks to rigorous evaluations conducted by the experienced professionals at the EPA, the American Airlines team and Allied BioScience, our multitiered program will become even stronger at safeguarding our customers and team members from virus such as coronavirus and the flu,” he added.
The carrier says the coating is an antiviral protectant that kills coronaviruses on surfaces even after new germs are deposited.
“SurfaceWise2 creates an invisible barrier on surfaces, which physically breaks down and kills virus cells,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, an infectious disease expert in a statement posted on the American Airlines website.
“This helps protect passengers and crew members against the transmission of coronavirus via surfaces, particularly on high-touch areas such as seats, armrests, tray tables and overhead bin doors,” he added.