Boeing and the University of Arizona have conducted a series of tests for airlines’ cleaning solutions that effectively destroys the virus causing Covid-19.

The test is part of the company’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to support customers and enhance the safety of passengers and crews amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing performed the testing on an unoccupied aircraft against a live virus called MS2, placing it at strategic high-touch points such as seat tray tables, armrests, seat cushions, stowage bins, and inside the lavatory and galley.

The University of Arizona and the Department of Environmental Sciences correlated those results to SARS-CoV-2 in a protected laboratory environment.

Boeing’s CTI leader Mike Delaney said: “While these cleaning solutions had been tested in other environments, an airplane behaves differently. It was critical for us to evaluate and confirm the chemicals and techniques we recommend for our customers’ use are effective and battle-tested.

“By working with the University of Arizona, we were able to employ their world-renowned expertise in virology to do exactly that.”

The tests also measured the performance of Boeing’s ultraviolet (UV) wand and antimicrobial coatings.

The two entities will continue to test recommended cleaning methods in a lab against SARS-CoV-2 and other similar viruses for further validation.

University of Arizona microbiologist Dr Charles Gerba said: “This study allowed us to test and validate, for the first time, that disinfecting solutions kill SARS-CoV-2 on an airplane.

“It’s important to recognise we’re not only talking about SARS-CoV-2, but also other viruses and micro-organisms.”

Last month, Boeing reached a patent and technology licence with US-based Healthe to manufacture a UV wand to sanitise aircraft interiors amid the pandemic.