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12/18/2013 | Lufthansa Cargo is now “slimming down” its MD11 freighter fleet

Lufthansa Cargo’s freighter fleet will operate more efficiently from now on. Every single one of the MD11-F aircraft has shed 35 kilos, thanks to the weight-saving initiative concluded by the airline in the middle of this year.

The aim was to identify non-essential items carried on board or items that could be replaced by lighter ones. For example, various paper documents that are also available in a digital format will no longer be permitted on board, while the curtain used to separate the galley from the cargo deck will be made of a lighter material in future. Altogether, these and other measures will enable Lufthansa Cargo to save around 80 tonnes of fuel a year – enough to fly an MD11 freighter from Frankfurt to Sharjah and back. Experts have already identified potential weight savings of about 70 kilos per aircraft. The corresponding measures are due to be implement-ted in 2014.

Exactly a year ago, a similar weight-saving initiative carried out by Lufthansa on one of its wide-bodied Airbus A340-300s identified potential weight savings of 100 kilos per aircraft. Items weighing a total of 70 kilos have already been removed, which will allow Lufthansa to save 1,145 tonnes of fuel annually on its intercontinental passenger flights. That equates to the fuel consumption of 14 A340-300 flights from Frankfurt to Rio de Janeiro. The airline will thus reduce its annual fuel costs in future by more than 900,000 euros and lower its CO2 emissions by 3,606 tonnes per year.

“Weight-saving initiatives sharpen awareness of the impact weight has on fuel consumption. That has a positive impact on our profitability and moreover plays a key role in our efforts to steadily improve our ecological balance,” says Jens Ritter, Director Fuel Efficiency at the Lufthansa Group.

Other weight-reducing measures are also being put in place. They include equipping the entire long-haul fleet with lighter-weight catering trolleys. Meanwhile Lufthansa Cargo is replacing its freight containers with lighter models. Internal knowledge transfer will ensure that all the Lufthansa Group carriers are kept up-to-date on all aspects of weight reduction.


Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.

econsense is an association of leading, globally active companies and organisations of German business specializing in the area of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Founded in 2000 on the initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the goal of econsense is to provide a dialogue platform and think tank, with the dual objectives of advancing sustainable development in business and assuming social responsibility.