Honeywell's (NYSE: HON) new UV Cabin System has been put in service as part of a pilot by JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU), marking the first time a U.S. airline has implemented the Honeywell technology. In clinical studies, ultraviolet light has been found to be capable of significantly reducing certain viruses and bacteria when properly applied at prescribed levels. The Honeywell UV Cabin System can traverse an aircraft cabin in less than 10 minutes, and JetBlue will be gauging the system's place in its operation, while continuing other cleaning methods.
“With the safety of our crew members and customers our first priority, JetBlue's Safety from the Ground Up initiative is maintaining a layered approach to safety by ensuring healthy crew members, providing flexibility, adding space, reducing touchpoints, and keeping surfaces clean and sanitized,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue's president and COO. “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 has delivered eight of the devices to JetBlue, and the devices are now being put into service as part of JetBlue's Safety from the Ground Up program at two of the airline's focus cities, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. These two locations kicked off a 90-day pilot program for JetBlue to evaluate the Honeywell solution.
“JetBlue took an immediate interest in this new product when we demonstrated it for them just a few weeks ago, and now JetBlue is receiving our first systems,” said Mike Madsen, Honeywell Aerospace president and CEO. “We've ramped up production quickly on the UV Cabin System, and our company is working on a range of solutions to help make passengers more comfortable about flying.”
The Honeywell UV Cabin System is roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart and has UV-C light arms that extend over the top of seats and sweep the cabin to treat aircraft surfaces. Properly applied, UV-C lights can deliver doses that clinical studies have found to be capable of reducing various viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Results vary based on UV dosage and application.*
For SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, there are multiple medical studies underway involving UV-C light. Preliminary results from studies performed by Boston University and a consortium of Italian medical and academic professionals report that UVC light can inactivate the virus at prescribed dosages in the lab. Additional studies are underway for other environments.*
*Clinical studies compiled by Honeywell, not verified by JetBlue Airways