Etihad Airways, along with its Unit Load Device (ULD) partner Jettainer, has embarked on a program to replace 3,000 containers from the original aluminium ULD fleet with environmentally friendly lightweight versions.
The new lightweight containers are manufactured from a range of composite materials including Kevlar, the material used in making bullet-proof jackets.
This composite is tougher and much lighter with an average weight saving of 17kg per ULD or over 200kgs per average wide-bodied flight. This significant weight reduction will lower fuel consumption, costs and CO2 emissions. It is estimated that the implementation of the new containers will cut emissions by approximately 5,000 tons in 2012.
David Kerr, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Cargo said: “The introduction of these lightweight units into our cargo operations is evidence of our innovative approach to sustainable logistics and ensures that our cargo services remain among the best in the world.
“We will continue to work closely with our partner Jettainer and ULD manufacturers to identify new opportunities for weight savings and will keep on monitoring market developments.”
Etihad Airways will continue to look for ways to achieve weight savings that will lower its fuel burn. The airline is also studying the introduction of lightweight pallets made of carbon fibre and lighter weight pallet nets.