JetBlue Trials New Ultraviolet Onboard Cleaning System

JetBlue announced today that it is introducing an ultraviolet light system to help clean aircraft cabin surfaces. The carrier is piloting this technology at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

JetBlue is turning to high-tech solutions when it comes to cleanliness. Photo: Getty Images

Safety is priority

According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, the Long Island City-based airline has taken on eight units of the Honeywell UV Cabin System. The device can pan across a plane cabin in less than 10 minutes.

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Ultraviolet light can significantly reduce certain viruses and bacteria when properly applied at the right levels. Additionally, preliminary results from studies performed by Boston University and Italian medical and academic professionals show that UV-C light can inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 at prescribed dosages in a lab environment. Meanwhile, further studies are underway for other areas.

JetBlue’s president and chief operating officer Joanna Geraghty spoke about how this system will take the airline’s hygiene measures to the next level. This introduction is part of the company’s broader safety program.

“With the safety of our crewmembers and customers our first priority, JetBlue’s Safety from the Ground Up initiative is maintaining a layered approach to safety by ensuring healthy crewmembers, providing flexibility, adding space, reducing touchpoints, and keeping surfaces clean and sanitized,” Geraghty said, as per the press release.

“As we look to add additional layers of protection by utilizing cutting-edge technology, we have identified the Honeywell UV Cabin System as a potential game changer when it comes to efficiently assisting in our efforts to sanitize surfaces onboard.”

Honeywell UV
The Honeywell UV Cabin System is roughly the size of a drinks cart and has UV-C light arms that extend to sweep the cabin. Photo: Honeywell

The bigger picture

Even after the coronavirus pandemic slows down, JetBlue has expressed that it will continue with many of these practices. Other safety measures in place include:

  • Mandatory face masks during check-in, boarding and onboard;
  • Blocking middle seats on larger aircraft and aisle seats on smaller aircraft for those not traveling together (through September 8);
  • Requiring all travelers to complete a health declaration;
  • Implementing a back-to-front boarding process for most customers to minimize passing in the aisle;
  • Providing touchless check-in, bag-tagging and boarding experiences using the JetBlue mobile app and self-boarding gates for many flights;
  • The use of HEPA air filters on the aircraft, which remove 99.97% or more of particles, bacteria, and viruses.
JetBlue Cleaning
JetBlue also has an extensive list of other processes in place to ensure that there is less risk for both members of staff and passengers. Photo: JetBlue

A changing environment

Altogether, the global health crisis has forced airlines to massively ramp up their cleaning and safety procedures across their operations. Nonetheless, these measures will go a long way and help passengers to travel in confidence, even after the pandemic is over.

What are your thoughts about this ultraviolet cleaning system that JetBlue is piloting? Moreover, do you think this is a good move by the airline? Let us know what you think of this initiative in the comment section.