Delta installs high-tech antimicrobial lighting to better protect airplane lavatories

  • Installation of first Vyv antimicrobial LED lighting (non-UV) in onboard lavatories begins in mid-November on Delta 757-200 fleet through early 2021
  • This latest layer of protection promotes enhanced cleanliness and customer health

Delta is adding an additional layer of antimicrobial protection to airplane lavatories to enhance cleanliness: LED lighting that will better protect customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.  

Through a partnership first announced at CES 2020 in January, the carrier is beginning installation of Vyv (pronounced “VIVE” – formerly known as Vital Vio) antimicrobial LED lighting above onboard lavatory sinks and countertops – known as a high-touch area on board. The light continually reduces the growth of bacteria within the lavatory.  

These antimicrobial LED lights, when combined with electrostatic spraying and frequent cleaning, help to improve cleanliness and eliminate germs in lavatories. In-flight crews also use kits that include disinfectant spray, wipes and gloves to ensure the thorough sanitization completed before boarding stays fresh throughout the flight. 

“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. “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.”   

Vyv is a visible spectrum LED light (non-UV) that provides high-quality illumination that is deadly to bacteria, while being ideal for continuous use around people and animals. 

Beginning in mid-November with the Delta 757-200 fleet, customers will notice more aircraft outfitted with Vyv. After installation on this initial fleet, Delta plans to conduct further tests in 2021 with the hope of expanding installation in the future.  

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Customers will know their flight is equipped with Vyv thanks to newly installed messaging placards in outfitted lavatories. These placards feature a link customers can visit to learn more about Delta’s layers of protection and how the company is harnessing innovative collaboration to keep customers safe. 

Continuing Delta’s Innovative Spirit 

At CES, Delta unveiled its plans to revolutionize air travel, becoming the first airline with a keynote address at the conference and showcasing innovations aimed to overhaul the customer experience. Shortly after, the airline quickly pivoted to lead the industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, introducing Delta CareStandard – layers of protection across the customer journey to keep customers and employees safer during travel. 

“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, S.V.P. – Technical Operations. “This is another example of how Delta and our startup partners have worked together to create a safer travel experience.”  

The pivot made after CES elevated the use of research and insights to re-map the entire customer experience with health and safety in mind. For Vyv, this meant accelerating the cross-company partnership to bring the technology quickly 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,” said Colleen Costello, Co-founder 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 onboard Delta aircraft this fall and look forward to continuing our collaboration into the future.” 

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Partnership and flexibility have been central to Delta’s work during the pandemic. In addition to partnerships with the Mayo Clinic and RB (makers of Lysol), the airline has made use of employee skills and project capabilities across subsidiaries to manufacture face shields for local Atlanta hospitals, retrofit shipping containers into mobile hospital rooms for the military and deliver more than 1 million pounds of food to local charities.  

Delta has introduced more than 100 changes to cleanliness protocols since the onset of the pandemic – most of which are here to stay. From blocking middle seats into January 2021 to changing high-grade HEPA air filters twice as often as recommended, to becoming the first U.S. airline to install hand sanitizer stations onboard, the airline is constantly improving the new standard of care based on expert medical advice and the customer feedback. 

Working together, these layers of protection help to address customer stress points by offering cleaner surfaces, more space and safer service from curb to baggage claim.  

Through Delta’s partnership with Engage and its own startup incubator The Hangar, Delta continues to build relationships with startups like Vyv and create the best experience possible for customers. 

Learn more about the Delta CareStandard and Delta’s health and safety protocols. 


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