High-tech textile products continue to be utilized by the aviation sector in efforts to reduce fuel costs. One of the latest is a new lightweight cargo net currently being deployed by Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo. The netting is manufactured by AmSafe Bridport using ultra high molecular polyethylene fiber manufactured by Dutch firm DSM Dyneema and branded as Dyneema.
Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo says usage of the new nets will cut tonnes from its annual aircraft carbon dioxide emission and that one new made with Dyneema will save the airline more than 210 gallons of kerosene fuel per year. That translates to more than 2.5 tonnes less CO2 emissions per net per year. The first nets were officially handed over to the airline at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam on Tuesday.
Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo is the first major airline to commit to replacing all of its cargo pallet nets, normally made with polyester fiber, with lightweight nets made with Dyneema. The three companies have been collaborating on development and testing of the nets for several years. The end result is a net that weighs around 9 kg. (19.8 lbs.), half the weight of a polyester net.
The deployment of the new nets won’t be a quick process. Air France-KLM-Martinair spokesman Jean-Claude Raynaud says the cargo group has about 20,000 pallets to be reequipped and the process will take a few months.
“We are proud to be the first major airline group to introduce light weight nets with Dyneema,” said Camiel Eurlings, CEO of KLM. “At Air France-KLM, we are fully committed to reduce our carbon footprint, and our efforts are being recognized. For the eighth year running, Air France KLM has come out at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the airline sector. Weight reduction on board our aircraft is an important part of those efforts. These lightweight nets can lead to important reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and are the latest in a series of efforts we are taking to reduce our carbon footprint.”