Delta is set to sanitise every flight with so-called ‘electrostatic spraying’, after initially using the technology on flights to and from Asia.
The devices electrically charge and spray liquid disinfectant in a fine mist that clings to surfaces such as seats, screens, armrests, tray tables, doors, toilets and galleys.
The airline said in a statement, “This high-grade disinfectant is highly effective against many communicable diseases, including coronaviruses, and is immediately safe for customers and crew after it’s applied.
“Following the sanitisation process, cleaning crews complete an extensive checklist of cleaning procedures using this same high-grade disinfectant to wipe down personal and common areas of the cabin.”
Delta is also sanitising staff rooms, reservations centres, pilot lounges and office spaces using the same process.
Senior vice president Eric Phillips said customers can have confidence that cabins are sanitised from “top to bottom”.
“We’re taking a holistic approach to cleanliness to keep employees and customers safe in airports and onboard,” said Phillips.
“I am extremely proud of our teams who are going the extra mile throughout the operation to transform what it means for an airline to be clean.”
Airlines have put much effort into increasing their cleaning processes since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
In Australia in March, flag carrier Qantas was slammed by a state safety watchdog for having cleaning standards so poor they could put passengers at risk of COVID-19.
The extraordinary findings, seen by The Sydney Morning Herald, came after an inspection that noted how cleaners were wiping tray tables without disinfectant and performing tasks such as handling soiled nappies and dirty tissues without wearing “protective equipment” for “the majority of these tasks”.
SafeWork NSW issued Qantas with an “improvement notice” and ordered the airline to develop a new system specifically to deal with COVID-19.