Compared to traditional double-width ULDs which typically weigh in at 196 kilograms, the new ALF model is almost 34 per cent lighter at 130 kilograms, a saving of 66 kilograms per unit, and a potential weight saving of 116 kilograms per flight.
Etihad Airways will take delivery of 250 of the new ULDs this year, and the airline estimates that the significant weight reduction will result in fuel savings in the order of US$350,000 in 2013 and approximately US$1.1 million in 2014.
Projected cuts in CO2 carbon emissions are 1,100 tons for 2013 and 4,000 tons for 2014.
The certified ULDs have been developed by Zodiac Aerospace Air Cargo Equipment and are manufactured from a range of composite materials which guarantee strength.
David Kerr, Etihad Airways Vice President Cargo, said: “The introduction of these lightweight double-width units into our passenger and cargo operations is evidence of our innovative approach to sustainable logistics and ensures that our services remain among the best in the world.
“Being more efficient in our operations, lowering our fuel burn, reducing our CO2 impact, and optimising our costs will continue to drive our business in the years ahead, and we look forward to working with Jettainer and its manufacturers to identify further opportunities for weight savings initiatives.”
Alexander Pluemacher, Managing Director of Jettainer GmbH, added: “We will continue to work with partners such as Etihad Airway and Zodiac Aerospace Air Cargo Equipment in order to further improve our products. We aim for exploring additional weight saving opportunities which will enable us to enrich our customer’s ULD fleets by even lighter units in the future.”