Virgin Atlantic nets an environmental goal

Virgin Atlantic Cargo is to use lightweight air cargo nets to contribute towards the airline’s target of a 30% reduction in aircraft CO2 emissions by 2020.
The UK-based airline has initially ordered 600 of the nine kilo nets, made with strong but lightweight Dyneema fibres, each representing a four kilos saving on a traditional cargo net used to secure shipments on pallets.
The nets are also designed to be highly durable and have a five-year operating life compared with an average two or three years for conventional nets.
Paul Fallon, vice president–cargo operations & business development at Virgin Atlantic, said: “Last year we took delivery of our first lightweight cargo containers and using lightweight nets is another opportunity for us to reduce emissions.
“We expect to have some 1,800 of these nets in use by the end of 2015. We are also looking at the latest lightweight pallets that have come onto the market and expect to trial these to measure the benefits they can offer too.”
Linda Rutten, marketing manager aviation at net manufacturer DSM Dyneema, said: “Using air cargo nets made with Dyneema has clear benefits extending from increased aircraft fuel efficiency and hence fewer emissions.” 
Virgin Atlantic Cargo has already invested in more than 1,100 lightweight LD3 containers as part of a programme to phase out 3,200 heavier air cargo units.
The new containers are 16 kilos lighter than the old LD3s they have replaced. 
Every extra gram of weight onboard an aircraft means more fuel use and more emissions. Replacing old, heavier cargo bins and pallets with lighter ones will save around 2,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions.
How Green is Air Cargo? That is the special report in the latest issue of Air Cargo News.
You can access the report by signing up here for our FREE digital edition.

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