Southwest Airlines – I recently joined Gary in Part 8 of his Ask Gary video series to show off some state-of-the-art technology our Aircraft Appearance group is already using to take our cabin cleanliness to a new level. Here is Brian Bond, our Director of Aircraft Appearance, to explain more about this new technology.
Our initial testing went so well that we quickly moved to implement the technology this past weekend, and we’re already using these electrostatic sprayers as one of the final steps during all overnight stops in our Maintenance Base hangars. We were able to treat more than 40 aircraft on the first night, and we expect to have the active fleet fully treated within a couple of weeks.
It’s a simplistic analogy, but the disinfection and antimicrobial solutions that our Technicians are applying through these sprayers combine to be something of a “super primer” that acts as a baseline of foundational cleanliness that enhances a margin of safety for all Employee and Customer touchpoints.
This is a very different technology and application than some of the “fogging” treatments you might have seen in other public spaces.
The electrostatic application causes droplets of both the disinfection agent and antimicrobial cleaner to produce a fine mist that wraps around all surfaces and coats in a way that human hands simply can’t touch. And according to the manufacturer, the combination of the electrostatic charge plus the cleaners we’ve chosen for the program creates droplets that cling to every surface with a force that’s 75 times stronger than the pull of the Earth’s gravity!
The solutions meet our strict standards for safety and complement other hospital-grade and EPA-registered solutions we use to clean our aircraft during our nightly appearance work.
We have more than 100 of these highly specialized units on order and, as the size of fleet and number of overnighting aircraft climbs back toward pre-pandemic levels, we’ll continue evaluating new ways to utilize the technology with the overarching goal of instilling confidence for everyone who steps on board a Southwest aircraft.
We want you to know you’ll be hearing a lot more in the coming weeks about our overall effort to bolster confidence in cleanliness, as air travel begins to recover in the months ahead. It’s top of mind in Technical Operations, and it’s top of mind across the Company.