In 2019, the country’s airlines carried approximately 926 million passengers, an increase of 43% over 2003.
But that demand hit a wall in March 2020 after U.S. carriers reported a huge drop in bookings amid the spread of the coronavirus.
Airlines, at the heart of the epidemic, are being scrutinized for cabin safety and cleanliness.
Health officials say air travel is causing the spread of viruses and bacteria faster than ever before.
” Air travel accelerates the speed at which infectious diseases spread around the world, “said Professor Vicki Hertzberg, biostatistician at Emory University and lead author of a separate study on how an infection can spread to aboard an airplane.
Delta Air Lines plans to reduce seat capacity by 70% and has announced that the carrier’s second quarter sales will be $ 10 billion lower than the same period a year earlier.
American, United, JetBlue and Southwest are also parking hundreds of their planes, freezing hiring and asking employees to take leave without pay.
To fight the pandemic, airlines have imposed new safety rules and are using improved cleaning techniques inside their aircraft cabins.
In addition to its regular cleaning schedule, Delta uses a high-quality disinfectant approved by the EPA to wipe common areas of kitchens and toilets. The airline has also added a “fogging process” used in many healthcare facilities that repels an EPA-registered disinfectant on all inbound transpacific and transatlantic flights.
As of Wednesday, all domestic Delta flights will undergo the same fogging process overnight and in early May, each aircraft on the Delta network will be fogged before each flight.
American Airlines and United Airlines said they also use high-quality disinfectants and multi-purpose cleaners on all touch points, including window blinds, armrests and table tops. Airplanes staying overnight at an airport receive an improved cleaning procedure.
United has said that due to the coronavirus, it will soon start using an electrostatic sprayer to disinfect the air and cabin surfaces on all international arrivals to the United States.
Watch this video to learn more about how airlines clean their planes.
The decline of American airports
Why American hospitals are closing