Last updated: 02:58 PM ET, Wed May 14 2014

Lufthansa Experiments with Lighter Aircraft to Lessen Impact

Airlines & Airports James Ruggia March 20, 2013

Lufthansa Experiments with Lighter Aircraft to Lessen Impact

Lufthansa cleared out an Airbus A340-300 to discover ways to reduce weight and improve the fuel efficiency without hindering comfort and safety. The carrier is currently running some 400 research and development environmental projects in the passenger business alone. The latest initiative involved stripping down an Airbus A340-300 to scrutinize the entire interior of the long-haul aircraft, including the cockpit, cabin and cargo hold, then examine ways in which to reduce or eliminate any unnecessary weight.

The examination took place on an Airbus A340-300 shortly after a 12-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Frankfurt. Nearly 40 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.

With the findings in hand, Jens Ritter and specialists from other Lufthansa departments will analyze the information to identify solutions for reducing 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 percent, but also offers a total weight-reduction of almost 50 percent.