American Airlines has introduced a cleaning protocol using a surface coating that kills viruses for up to seven days. The electrostatic spraying solution is called SurfaceWise2 and it has been newly-approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA issued an emergency exemption permitting American Airlines to use SurfaceWise2, after it determined that the product can help in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. According to the airline, the solution is the first-ever long-lasting product to help fight the spread of the virus. Its manufacturer, Allied BioScience, says it creates a protective invisible layer that actively kills pathogens within two hours. It will be used by the airline in conjunction with routine cleaning, and applied to high-touch surfaces such as seats, tray tables and overhead bin doors.

“SurfaceWise2 creates an invisible barrier on surfaces, which physically breaks down and kills virus cells,” says Dr. Charles Gerba, a leading infectious disease expert. “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.”

This new product is expected to provide longer-lasting protection in public spaces, increasing traveler confidence in resuming normal air travel and other activities. In the coming months, American will begin using the nontoxic surface protection on surfaces inside its aircraft, with plans to use the product throughout its entire fleet, including those in its American Eagle regional partners. Other elements of its safety measures include enhanced aircraft cleaning performed before every mainline flight and an even deeper overnight clean.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

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