Lufthansa Group has stripped down an Airbus A340-300 to identify ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary weight and save fuel.
In its experiment, shortly after a 12 hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Frankfurt, Lufthansa employees participated in the special inventory, which included removing items in the A340 cockpit, cabin and cargo hold that were not screwed down. Each item was photographed, weighed and documented in detail.
“The lighter our aircraft, the less fuel they burn and the lower their impact on the environment,” said Jens Ritter, an A340 senior first officer, who was part of the inventory team and oversees fuel efficiency measures at Lufthansa Group.
Lufthansa’s strict quality- and safety-aspects were essential when considering what items should be placed back on board. “Besides passenger comfort, we have to adhere to Lufthansa’s stringent safety norms and the safety regulations decreed by aviation authorities,” Ritter said. “Life vests, oxygen masks, and medical kits are weighed, but will remain onboard the A340 unless there’s a lighter variant of the same quality.”
With the findings in hand, Jens Ritter and specialists from other Lufthansadepartments will analyze the information to identify ways to reduce the weight of the A340 by eliminating unnecessary items and introducing lighter and better equipment. For example, a recently-introduced catering trolley not only reduces the dry ice consumption by 30-50%, but also offers a total weight-reduction of almost 50%.
“A hundred kilos less on each plane in the Lufthansa passenger fleet would trim the fuel by a yearly €2.6 million ($3.5 million) and reduce CO2 emissions by a good margin,” Ritter said.