How United Airlines says it keeps cabins COVID-free

As carriers launch an all-out battle for returning travelers, one major airline is debuting a new deep-clean technology.
2:55 | 09/16/20

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Transcript for How United Airlines says it keeps cabins COVID-free
Well now to an ABC news exclusive about the efforts to make air travel as safe as possible amid this pandemic. One major airline is unveiling how they are using a new robot designed to kill viruses and bacteria and gio Benitez joins us from Newark airport from more and if this technology will lure back frequent flyers. Hey, Amy, good morning. This is the robot right here. It was actually designed for cruise ships before the pandemic. But now an airline has picked it up and "Gma" has an exclusive look. This morning, united is giving us an up close look. At a powerful new robot praying a protect Tant intended to kill viruses and bacteria. Within seconds a single spray covers anything within a 12-foot radius. When it drys it creates a bed of microscopic pins. When viruses or bacteria fall on those pins, united says the cells burst killing them on impact. How can you be sure it works? Well, look, this is one of the reasons we have complimentary technology that we're using and the combination of this antimicrobial technology along with the disinfectant that we're using along with masks, all of that together provides for a really safe environment on board our aircraft. Reporter:he company says it can disinfect a 737 within a minute and a half. It won't be used every day, that's because united says the chemical is effective for about a week. The plane will get a touch-up every seven days but with the mist awaiting EPA approval some doctors would like to see more data. There should be caution here because the studies and the information is evolving. We don't yet know how this impacts people's health when it's used for short, medium or long periods of time. Reporter: Nick created the micro sonic robot. There is a reason why you're using this overnight. Yep, so we do this overnight just to ensure customer safety. The chemical we use, once it's bound it's completely bound to the surface itself. It can't leave the surface. Reporter: The airlines are desperate to get more people comfortable with flying. This time last year TSA screened nearly 2.5 million passengers daily. That number Monday, just over 700,000. Mostly visiting friends and family. Still united says, this new robot will not replace daily manual cleaning. Can you promise that these protocols are going to be in place for a long time or forever. What we certainly know is that our customers' expectations are changing. When it comes to safety we won't cut corners. Reporter: And a new Harvard report says that when you wear a surgical mask on a plane, the risk of infection actually drops to less than 1% so it's just so important to wear these masks, Yeah, another good reminder, thank you so much, gio.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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