Qatar Airways has started using UV cleaning technology onboard its aircraft, which it says “has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria”.
The Gulf carrier has purchased six Honeywell UV Cabin Systems, with plans to acquire further units, so that they can be used on all aircraft turnarounds at Doha’s Hamad International airport.
The system is around the size of a beverage cart, and features extendable UV arms that treat seats, surfaces and cabins without the use of cleaning chemicals.
The airline however says that it will continue to regularly disinfect its aircraft using products recommended by IATA and the World Heath Organisation, with the UV system being utilised “as an additional step after manual disinfection, to ensure the very highest standards of cleanliness”.
Qatar Airways also highlights other measures including linen and blankets being “washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures”, and headsets being sanitised and sealed in individual packaging before each flight.
Automated UV-C disinfectant robots are also in use at Doha airport, to help reduce the spread of pathogens in high passenger flow areas.
Business Traveller reported on the launch of the Honeywell UV Cabin Systems in June, which the manufacturer says can treat an aircraft cabin in “less than ten minutes for just a few dollars per flight for midsize to large airline fleets”.
Commenting on the news Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said:
“We are pleased to be the first global airline to operate the Honeywell UV Cabin System onboard our aircraft. In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied at specified doses.
“During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our crew and passengers continues to be of the utmost importance. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been regularly introducing new and effective safety and hygiene measures onboard our aircraft, based on our unparalleled expertise of flying consistently throughout.”