Lufthansa announces measures to save paper on its cargo and passenger operations
Thu 2 Oct 2008 – Lufthansa Cargo has despatched its first paperless airfreight shipment on a flight from Frankfurt to Seoul as part of a move by the air cargo industry towards an e-freight era. Meanwhile, Lufthansa’s airline passengers can now use mobile boarding passes on all flights from Germany to any European destination, avoiding the need for printing out any travel documents. Lufthansa Systems, the carrier’s IT solutions subsidiary, has announced Air Berlin has contracted for its fuel-saving, flight planning system.
Paperless freight transport is the result of an IATA e-freight project initiated in 2004 with the aim of simplifying the airfreight process amongst airlines and forwarders. It is estimated that the amount of freight paper documentation produced every year would fill 39 Boeing 747-400 freighters.
“With paperless freight transport, together with our customers, we move the industry forward, because e-freight not only improves the data quality but, above all, also increases efficiency and, in addition, spares the environment,” says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo.
The freight carrier is shortly due to announce the winner of its Lufthansa Cargo Environmental Prize, worth 30,000 euro ($41,000), for students and university graduates submitting “exceptional” scientific papers in one of three categories: engine technology, aircraft construction or logistics and utilization systems.
The extension of the mobile passenger boarding pass to all Lufthansa’s European flights follows its successful introduction on domestic German routes during the summer. The pass, which includes booking details and a barcode, is sent to passengers via email or SMS to an internet-enabled cell phone. Scanning of the barcode permits the passenger to pass through security and board the aircraft without a printed paper document.
Under a contract it has just signed, Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline, has added the Traffic Flow Restrictions (TFR) module to the Lufthansa Systems flight planning package it already uses, Lido Operations Center (Lido OC). Lido OC identifies the best route out of almost unlimited options and enables dispatchers to calculate the optimal route while taking current flight-related data into account.
Airlines are required to check their planned routing for a particular flight against the latest ATC rules. This is usually done manually. TFR automates this process, enabling dispatchers to focus on other important tasks. In addition to the time saved during route planning, the tool opens up new route options as it considers partly restricted airways, calculating the most effective combination of airways between origin and destination, thus making it possible to optimize routes in regard to fuel consumption, costs or flying time. Lufthansa Systems says that on certain flights this feature is able to save up to 2% of fuel.