How Airplane Ventilation Actually Works

How clean is the air in an Airplane?

Our customers have questions about air safety in the time of Covid-19. Is it still safe to fly?

airplane seats empty

The airlines have you covered. State-of-the-art air circulation systems have been in  are in place to keep you safe in stressful times. Here’s how it works.

Airplane cabins operate with a blend of fresh, outside air and filtered cabin air. The air from outside is sterilized with a high-temperature compressor and ozone purifier, and mixed with existing cabin air that gets recirculated every 2-3 minutes through an industrial-grade HEPA filter.

And what exactly is a HEPA filter? HEPA filters are hospital-grade air filters, which means that they are the kind of filters used by hospitals to help insure that patients have the cleanest air possible. HEPA filters extract more than 99% of viruses – even those as small as 0.01 micrometers – so they can filter out coronaviruses specifically, which range from 0.08 to 0.16 micrometers in size.

In addition to state-of-the-art air circulation systems, most airlines have also stepped up their regular housekeeping routine, with some carriers like Southwest committing to more than six hours of cleaning each night.

If you’re unsure about a specific airline’s circulation system, reach out to the airline directly. In recent days, airlines have started to publicize the specifics on their aircraft and more are sure to follow. We’ll keep you posted with the news you need to make decisions on travel in the weeks and months to come.

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