While UV-light disinfection solutions have received a lot of attention as airlines contend with the pandemic, light in the visible spectrum also has antimicrobial properties. Delta Air Lines has found a new solution using Vyv antimicrobial LED lighting.
Delta first announced a partnership with Vyv (formerly known as Vital Vio) at CES 2020 in January, before the pandemic led to global air travel restrictions. With the onset of COVID-19, Vyv and Delta collaborated to accelerate bringing the technology to market.
“It’s a credit to Delta that our companies were working in close partnership long before the pandemic to improve Delta customers’ overall experience.” – Colleen Costello, Vyv CEO
Vyv is a visible spectrum LED light (non-UV) that is deadly to bacteria while safe for continuous use around people and animals. The airline will install the antimicrobial LED lighting above lavatory sinks and countertops – known to be high-touch areas on board. The Vyv LED lights will first be installed on the airline’s Boeing 757-200 fleet, beginning in mid-November through early 2021.
Vyv’s LED technology produces light in the 400-420nm range, which has been researched and proven to kill bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and mildew. UV light is defined as having wavelengths between 100 and 400 nm, and is arguably not as safe as LED light.
“This is another example of how Delta and our startup partners have worked together to create a safer travel experience.” – Don Mitacek, Delta.
Combined with electrostatic spraying and frequent cleaning, the airline aims to improve cleanliness and eliminate germs. In-flight crews also maintain hygiene during the flight using kits that include disinfectant spray, wipes and gloves.
“It’s a credit to Delta that our companies were working in close partnership long before the pandemic to improve Delta customers’ overall experience,” said Colleen Costello, cofounder and CEO of Vyv. “Installing our advanced antimicrobial lights above the lavatory counters creates an ideal setting for continuously ensuring a cleaner environment for passengers and staff. We are excited to have a positive impact on board Delta aircraft this fall and look forward to continuing our collaboration into the future.”
“Innovation is central to everything we do at Delta. Our partnership with Vyv shows how we are adapting the vision we showcased at CES to double-down on our commitment to customer health and safety,” said Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer at Delta. “This technology will provide another of the many layers we’ve put in place that, when working together, keep customers safe. For Delta, there’s no more important goal for applied Innovation.”
After initial installation on the 757-200 fleet, Delta plans to conduct further tests in 2021 before potentially installing these lights on other aircraft in the future. The airline will install placards in lavatories outfitted with Vyv lighting to raise customer awareness of the lights’ antimicrobial properties. The placard includes a link customers can visit to learn more about Delta’s protection layers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic under the Delta CareStandard.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, our nimble teams from Delta Flight Products and TechOps have worked in partnership with our Innovation team to deliver cleanliness solutions for customers,” said Don Mitacek, SVP of Technical Operations at Delta. “This is another example of how Delta and our startup partners have worked together to create a safer travel experience.”