How are Canada’s biggest airlines cleaning planes amid coronavirus outbreak?

The spread of the novel coronavirus is top of mind for many Canadians, particularly those who travel. So what are Canada’s largest airlines doing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of Tuesday morning, travel health advisories were in place for 10 countries, with each country listed at a different risk level. On Monday, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommended against all cruise ship travel because of the risk of contracting COVID-19.

In a notice sent to guests Monday, WestJet said it comprehensively trains staff for these types of scenarios as part of its overall emergency response. It has been working with the PHAC, Transport Canada and other agencies to ensure it is aware of, and aligned with, guidance regarding air travel.

Beyond its standard aircraft cleaning with industry-approved products, WestJet has introduced additional measures to increase the sanitization of its aircraft.

Clorox wipes and sprays are now being used to clean the galleys, lavatories, tray tables, seat armrests and headrests, seatbelt buckles, the power supply unit panel, overhead bin door latches and lavatory door handles.

WestJet planes are equipped with HEPA filters, similar to those used in hospitals. The company said the filters “achieve a viral and bacterial removal efficiency of greater than 99.99 per cent.” Fresh air is also brought into the cabin every two to three minutes, WestJet said.

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