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Coronavirus prompts Delta, Southwest Airlines to enhance sanitation measures

Angelica Stabile

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, airlines and travel companies have taken one of the biggest hits to business.

To ensure the safety of its customers, some major airlines have been diligent about sanitizing aircraft spaces and screening passengers before boarding.

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Delta Air Lines is taking a step further in ensuring sanitation and customer safety by introducing fogging – a method of deep cleaning that disinfects surfaces passengers may come in close contact with.

“The procedure uses a safe, high-grade EPA-registered disinfectant that is highly effective against many communicable diseases, including coronaviruses,” Delta Air Lines said in a press release. “Following the fogging procedure, cleaning crews thoroughly clean cabin surfaces including tray tables, seatback screens, and lavatories.”

Delta Air Lines announced March 10 it's suspending flights from New York JFK to Rome due to the massive spread of the virus and lockdown in Italy.

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Southwest Airlines is also upping the ante by using an EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant on surfaces in the passenger cabin, lavatories and flight deck. The airline also uses HEPA filters onboard, which filter out recirculated air – the same filters used in hospitals.

Southwest crew members spend six labor hours each night undergoing the sanitation program, according to a press release.

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"The Southwest Team works throughout the day to execute an aircraft cleaning program built upon standing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) which is designed with Customer Safety and comfort in mind," Southwest said.

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