American Airlines deploys new anti-COVID spray in planes

File: American Airlines had previously cancelled all 737 MAX flights through 19 August as it awaited recertification of the aircraft in the wake of the crashes.

File: American and United airlines were the first to announce cuts, saying they would begin furloughing 19,000 and 13,000 workers respectively.

AFP/Joe Raedle

WASHINGTON- American Airlines on Monday said it will be spraying its airplane interiors with a long-lasting product specifically designed to guard against the coronavirus as it tries to coax passengers back into flying.

The Texas-based carrier said in a statement it will begin using SurfaceWise2, a newly approved anti-viral surface coating aimed specifically at killing the virus causing COVID-19.

"In the coming months, American will begin using SurfaceWise2 for electrostatic spraying on surfaces inside its aircraft with plans to use the product throughout its entire fleet, including those in its American Eagle regional partners," the carrier said.

READ: American Airlines notifies workers of potential layoffs

The United States has seen a plunge in air travel since the coronavirus pandemic struck in mid-March, and airlines have been trying to encourage people to fly again by announcing enhanced cleaning regimes and mandating masks onboard.

American said it requires passengers over the age of two wear masks, and is cleaning aircraft before each flight and then giving them a deeper cleaning overnight.

The manufacturer of SurfaceWise2 Allied BioScience had announced on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency granted companies based in Texas a waiver to use the product, which is applied by electrostatic spray and effective against the coronavirus for 90 days.