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Delta Doubles Staffing for ‘Pit Stop’ Cleaning as Rivals Adjust Process

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  • Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) has doubled staffing to ensure more-thorough pre-flight cleaning “pit stops,” Reuters reported, citing an interview with Mike Medeiros, who leads Delta’s new global cleanliness division.
delta (dal stock) airlines plane

Source: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

  • Delta now deploys at least eight cabin cleaners, up from three to five previously. The cleaners disinfect and wipe down the cabin, which then must pass inspection by a flight attendant and gate agent. Delta is also purchasing test kits to measure bacteria on surfaces.
  • The airline hopes to enhance cleaning without increasing turnaround time. On average, it takes 20 minutes to clean a domestic flight, up from 10-15 minutes before the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Among other carriers, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) said it has doubled its cabin cleaning crews and has not had to add extra turnaround time. United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) said it has added extra time for cleaning but, because of lighter scheduling, has not had to add more workers.
  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has not added extra staff and is scaling back some of its pre-flight cleaning in order to maintain a 45-minute turnaround time. It is still using an electrostatic and a spray to kill viruses and protect surfaces for 30 days, as well as disinfecting lavatories.
  • DAL stock is up almost 11% this month, compared to an 8.3% gain in the U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSEArca:JETS), the 40-stock air travel industry-focused exchange-traded fund.

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