Lufthansa Cargo will begin using the first fully certified fire-resistant ULDs, outsourced from Jettainer.

The AMX ULDs, manufactured by US company Satco, have been certified by the FAA, and can contain a fire for up to six hours, making them the safest certified ULDs on the market, claims Jettainer.

“This updated ULD design uses advanced materials to contain a fire for up to six hours, adding critical time for a flight crew to land the aircraft safely in a cargo fire event,” it added.

Lufthansa Cargo is the first customer to use the new ULDs, and has 50 in its fleet.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Marcus Bezold, head of global handling performance. “That’s why we are constantly looking for solutions that reduce risks in freight transport.

“Thorough tests have confirmed that Satco’s new fire-resistant containers are highly effective, and we are very pleased that we can now draw on this solution, thanks to Jettainer.”

Frank Mühlenkamp, director global operations at Jettainer, added: “These new fire-resistant ULDs are setting new safety standards in the air cargo industry.

“The new containers are the result of close collaboration with Satco, a renowned manufacturer with decades of technological expertise and commitment to quality.”

Fires on aircraft can be caused by badly packed or counterfeit lithium batteries, may of which are undeclared. Airlines are starting to use dogs to sniff them out, including Qatar Airways Cargo and handler HACTL at Hong Kong’s air cargo terminal.

Qatar said its decision to use dogs, rather than traditional screening detection alone, was due to the difficulty of reliably identifying lithium batteries via x-ray images, particularly for e-commerce shipments containing multiple types of product in small packages.

Guillaume Halleux, chief officer cargo at Qatar Airways said: “We always maintain the highest possible level of aviation safety and security and we have continuously advocated for proper regulation in the transport of lithium batteries. We recently became the second airline in the world to become IATA CEIV lithium batteries-certified and we continue to look at ways to improve our methods. The trials have been very impressive, and our agreement to adopt the services through Hactl marks an important step forward for our brand.”

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