COLOGNE, GERMANY (July 15, 1:25 p.m. ET) — German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG is this year lightening its transport containers by 15 percent by using plastics instead of aluminum.
The Cologne-based company says the new lightweight models will lower kerosene consumption by 4.8 million pounds per year, saving 15 million pounds of carbon dioxide.
The new containers are being manufactured by four different companies: DoKasch GmbH in Staudt, Germany; Aerospace Composite Structures LLC in Albuquerque, N.M.; Nordisk Skibsrederforening in Oslo, Norway; and Driessen Aircraft Interior Systems USA Inc. in Houston, the company told European Plastics News.
“Each of the four manufacturers is using a slightly different material,” said a spokesperson. “ACS is using a composite of a honeycomb-shaped core with two covering foils. There are glass fibers involved in some of them.”
The containers have a lifespan of around 10 years and will be used for transporting passengers' luggage as well as for cargo shipments. They were tested for their resistance to heat, sunlight, fire, cold temperatures, rain and wind, as well as different kinds of movement, for example a forklift crash.
Karl Ulrich Garnadt, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, said the new containers will help Lufthansa “operate the largest fleet of lightweight containers in the world.”