Lufthansa has unveiled its ‘upcyling collection’, a range of lifestyle accessories and home furniture made from scrap airplane parts.
The German carrier commissioned product designers and recycling experts to sustainably reuse the defunct parts left over after retiring its Airbus A340-600 D-AIHO earlier this year.
The collection was created in collaboration with Lufthansa, Miles & More and Lufthansa Technik.
A specialist company has been dismantling the decommissioned Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 D-AHIO for almost 10 weeks in Teruel, Spain, to stage where the individual parts could be further processed into an entire range of strictly limited-edition travel accessories and furniture. The designers were on site to inspect the aircraft and select parts for the collection themselves.
For example, unusual pieces of furniture were manufactured from large elements of the aircraft fuselage or the window fronts. The aluminium cladding of the machine was also used to make key rings. Business class blankets, headrest covers and safety cards were turned bags and backpacks.
Part of Lufthansa’s fleet from 2006 to 2016, the Airbus A340-600 D-AHIO was the longest passenger aircraft in the world at the time, featuring quality materials such as aluminium, the aircraft skin and the sides of the plane. These materials have been used to craft the limited-edition lifestyle furnishings.
The aviation industry has been recycling various aircraft materials and parts — from carbon fibre composites to aluminium and textiles for other uses. According to the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA), up to 85% of an aircraft is recycled.
Scrap parts from old aircraft are often upcycled for circuit boards, computers and TVs. Some parts are recovered or refurbished for reuse in new aircraft.
Earlier this year, Airbus began selling furniture and home accessories made from upcycled aircraft parts through its e-store, A Piece of Sky. The limited-edition items range from lamps and side tables made from A320 windows and fuselage panels.