If you are going to be flying United Airlines it recently announced it will be adding Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to the airline’s already rigorous safety and cleaning procedures.
According to a news release, United is currently applying the coating each week on more than 30 aircraft to seats, tray tables, armrests, overhead bins, lavatories, and crew stations and expects to add this latest measure to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year.
The antimicrobial coating, created by Zoono Group Limited, a New Zealand company and distributed in the USA by MicroSonic Solutions, will serve as an added layer of protection that complements the airline’s existing, daily electrostatic spraying regimen before departing flights.
“This long-lasting, antimicrobial spray adds an extra level of protection on our aircraft to help better protect our employees and customers,” said Toby Enqvist, United’s chief customer officer in the news release. “As part of our layered approach to safety, antimicrobials are an effective complement to our hospital-grade HEPA air filtration system, mandatory mask policy for customers, and daily electrostatic spraying. We’ve overhauled our policies and procedures and continue to implement new, innovative solutions that deliver a safer onboard experience.”
How it Works
The Zoono Microbe Shield works by bonding to surfaces and creating a protective layer that resembles microscopic pins once dry which rupture cell walls and membranes when microbes come in contact with them. The chemical is classified by the EPA as Category IV, which is the lowest level of toxicity. During an aircraft’s deep cleanings, United will use the NovaRover which is designed to apply a super fine mist of the antimicrobial that coats all surfaces in a 12-foot radius with a single spray. United will apply the antimicrobial to aircraft overnight every seven days using electrostatic sprayers to refresh and fortify the protective layer while continuing to electrostatic spray disinfectant to the aircraft cabin before almost every departure, the release said.
“MicroSonic is proud to provide United with the most advanced application of antimicrobial protection for their aircraft,” said Nick Federico, MicroSonic’s president in the news release. “Our proprietary NovaRover system combined with Zoono Microbe Shield will deliver an additional effective layer of microbial protection, reassuring customers, and crew that the environment inside United aircraft is more safe and clean.”
United is currently applying Zoono Microbe Shield on aircraft at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and expects to expand it to each of its six other hubs and approximately 200 U.S. airports where United aircraft remain overnight in the coming months. The airline plans to deploy NovaRovers at ten airports, including each of United’s seven hubs as well as Boston, Cleveland, and Las Vegas.
United is focused on delivering a new level of cleanliness on the ground and in the air as part of its United CleanPlus program. In addition to the initiatives mentioned above, several of the airline’s precautionary measures to further ensure a cleaner environment include:
- Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hubs and other airports throughout the airline’s system
- Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
- Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand six feet apart
- Becoming the first airline in the world to roll out touchless check-in capabilities for customers with bags
At the Gate:
- Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones, and computers
- Providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to customers
- Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers in select markets to disinfect gate areas at United’s hub airports
- Enabling customers to self-scan boarding passes
- Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front
- Introduced real-time seat assignment update text and email notifications to further United’s touchless airport experience
- Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft before flight
- Running cabin air circulation system that circulates air through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters on all mainline aircraft from boarding through deplaning
- Using UV light to disinfect flight decks
- Was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, later following with all employees and customers
- Disinfecting high-touch areas – such as tray tables and armrests – before boarding
- Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
- Deplaning in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
- Providing onboard items including pillows and blankets upon request
Source: United Airlines