United Airlines will introduce new procedures from July 27 to maximise the volume of air flow through its aircraft filtration systems during boarding and disembarking.

The cabin air flow plan is part of the carrier’s plans to further reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The aircrafts’ high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems, air conditioning and pressurisation systems recirculate the cabin air every two to three minutes.

This removes 99.97% of particles – including viruses and bacteria during ground and air operations.

United said this makes the air onboard a plane “significantly cleaner” than in restaurants, shops, schools or even some hospitals.

Scott Kirby, United’s chief executive, said: “We know the environment on an aircraft is safe and because the air flow is designed to minimise the transmission of disease, the earlier we maximise air flow over our HEPA filtration system, the better for our crew and our customers.

“The quality of the air, combined with a strict mask policy and regularly disinfected surfaces, are the building blocks towards preventing the spread of Covid-19 on an airplane.

“We expect that air travel is not likely to get back to normal until we’re closer to a widely administered vaccine – so we’re in this for the long haul.

“I am going to keep encouraging our team to explore and implement new ideas, new technologies, new policies and new procedures that better protect our customers and employees.”