Cargolux announces lithium ion battery ban

Cargolux Airlines has temporarily imposed a ban on the transport of lithium ion batteries from May 1.
The airline said it had decided to implement the ban after reviewing new information released by the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and the International Civil Aviation Authority regarding the effectiveness of the on-board fire extinguishing systems in case of lithium ion battery fires and the temperatures that such fires can develop.
“With this decision,” it said, “Cargolux joins other major passenger and freight carriers in following the International Air Transport Association recommendation to risk assess the transportation of such batteries and concluding that the current risk to continue flying such shipments is not acceptable.”
It added that it had already banned shipments of lithium metal batteries following a dedicated risk assessment conducted in previous years.
It also pointed out that the ban would not apply to lithium ion batteries packed with or contained in equipment.
To lift the ban as soon as possible, Cargolux said it would assess different options to identify if technology exists or if new technology can be developed in order to make the transportation of bulk shipments of lithium batteries safe.
Lithium batteries, when damaged or badly packaged, have a dangerous side that poses a potential fire risk.
There have been a number of air cargo incidents around the transport of lithium batteries, which prompted a regulatory review by IATA.
Following the review, the association issued guidance material which provided airline operators with important information related to the safe handling and transport of lithium batteries by air. 

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