Aircraft Hygiene in the Era of Coronavirus: Antimicrobial Paint


Cleanliness and safety of course come first with us here at Iberia Airlines, from the design of the cabin and fuselage to the operation of each flight. So in this post we’re going to talk a bit about an aspect of this which passengers and crew don’t directly notice but has become increasingly important, especially in the era of coronavirus/COVID-19: painted surfaces with antimicrobial active agents.

Now used in all the lavatories of our A350’s to coat surfaces particularly prone to microbial contamination, this special paint invented by the 126-year-old, Hamburg-based industrial-paint company Mankiewicz is manufactured under a system called BioProtect, based on micronised silver. The process of micronisation basically reduces silver ions in this paint to a size measured in microns or micrometres (one micron equalling a thousandth of a millimetre – incredibly small!).

This allows the already highly reactive silver ions to literally interrupt vital processes within the cells of bacteria and viruses nearly 100 percent of the time, providing a highly effective level of long-lasting protection that does not need refresher layers over time – which studies show lasts more than 12 years – complementing the disinfection performed between each flight.

The active agents used in the coating work to inhibit the growth of bacteria and mould, as well as the unpleasant odours and discoloration they can cause. It’s also worth noting that silver ions have no adverse effect on the human body or health.

So BioProtect is yet another of the myriad ways that Airbus and Iberia are working to improve cabin hygiene as you fly. It’s just that you never actually see it!


Images | Iberia, Mankiewicz