For airlines, any extra weight carried means more fuel used and more CO2 released. Cutting weight on board is a vital part of any airline’s fuel saving and climate strategy. In Lufthansa Group’s case, this also means investing in new on-board equipment.

One of the world’s largest airline families, the group has been working on a programme of cutting weight across its fleet of aircraft for a number of years.

The group has replaced the seats across its short- and medium-haul fleet with a slimline and lightweight seat. This allows more passengers to be carried (increasing the per-passenger efficiency) and greater leg room for those on board. But it also cuts the weight per seat by 30% and CO2 by more than 21,000 tonnes.

Inside the cabin, almost 30,000 new light-weight catering trolleys have been pushed into service. The introduction of the “Quantum” trolley, which is one third lighter than its predecessor, saves around 28,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. Canadian manufacturer Norduyn worked with LSG Sky Chefs to develop the trolley made entirely of lightweight composites and is the only aircraft cabin service trolley of its kind available on the market.

Lufthansa is equipping its long-haul fleet with the new in-flight entertainment system RAVE. Depending on the type of aircraft, this saves 30% to 40% weight when compared with previous equipment.

Lufthansa Cargo completely replaced its fleet of 5,500 standard freight containers (used for passenger and cargo shipments) with versions around 15% lighter than their aluminium predecessors. With up to half a million movements per year, the 14 kilogram difference will cut overall CO2 by around 7,000 tonnes. Subsidiary Jettainer, together with partners from business and science, is already advancing development of the next generation of lightweight containers and pallets. Tomorrow’s standard pallets are expected to weigh as much as 25% less than their predecessors.