Qatar Airways Cargo is to adopt Safran Cabin’s new fire resistant containers, replacing its entire 10,000-strong unit load device (ULD) fleet over the next five years.
Qatar becomes the first cargo carrier to adopt the containers, having taken delivery of its initial batch on 29 September. The company is aiming to exchange 70 per cent of the units during 2022.
Qatar Airways Cargo’s said its decision to invest in the newly-developed fire resistant containers stemmed from the airline’s “vested interest” in preventing safety issues related to lithium battery shipments.
“Due to the increased transport of devices with lithium-ion batteries in ULDs, we were looking for a solution that prevents incidents in containers used for the handling and storage of baggage, as well as the transportation of cargo goods,” Qatar Airways’ chief officer cargo Guillaume Halleux told delegates in a keynote presentation at IATA’s recent World Cargo Symposium in Dublin, Ireland.
“Thorough testing has validated the absolute fire resistance of Safran Cabin’s new fire resistant containers, and we are very pleased to roll out this solution in our belly-hold fleet within such a short period of time.”
Safran Cabin’s containers are designed to resist a lithium-based fire for six hours, and are equipped with a SEN (‘Secure, Ergonomic, and Non-Velcro’) door made of high impact resistant materials and without the use of Velcro. This makes the container easy to maintain and optimises the cost of ownership, the company said.
“We are delighted to bring this innovation to the market together with Qatar Airways Cargo as one of our key partners for pallets and container solutions for more than 15 years,” said Safran Cabin’s Cargo & Catering division EVP Pascal Piveteau.
“The project started at the end of 2019, and was finished in record time to support Qatar Airways Cargo’s replacement plans. Together, we are contributing to the set-up of new standards for a safer aviation environment. We are also honoured by the trust our esteemed customer has expressed in this major project, which constitutes one of the largest-ever airline ULD fleet replacements, especially in these challenging times.”