The Lufthansa Group’s success depends primarily on safe and reliable flight operations. The health and safety of passengers, crews and employees have the highest priority for the aviation group. Therefore, all Lufthansa Group airlines operate a comprehensive Safety Management System (SMS).
With regard to their safety management systems, the Lufthansa Group’s airlines take their bearings from legal requirements such as EU guidelines, as well as regulations issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In addition, they fulfill all standards and recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Every two years, independent experts audit the safety standards applied Group-wide in an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). All Group airlines fully apply the internationally accepted IATA standards for air safety.
The aircraft of Lufthansa Group Airlines are equipped with so-called hepa filters that clean the cabin air. All recirculated air is filtered and cleaned of impurities such as dust, bacteria and viruses from the cabin air. This applies to about 40 percent - the rest is added as fresh air from outside. Hepa filter technology is also used in air conditioning systems for hospitals and operating theatres. By using these special filters, the cabin air is cleaner than the air inhaled by most people on earth. In addition, the air flow in aircraft cabins is from top to bottom. The air conditioning system is designed to prevent airflow in the longitudinal direction of the aircraft. All air in Airbus cabins is completely renewed approximately every 3 minutes. This is a much higher ventilation rate than is usual in other interiors and means of transport.
The Lufthansa Group has actively participated in investigating so-called smell events aboard aircraft for many years. In cooperation with national and international authorities, associa tions, research institutes and manufacturers, the aviation group supports research on the composition of cabin air, the development of new innovative technologies and medical studies. So far, the Group has invested about 2 million euros in investigations and information in this area. In addition, the Lufthansa Group set up a Cabin Air Quality Review Board as early as 2012, whose members represent flight operations, the Medical Services, Lufthansa Technik, technical operations management, Group occupational safety and personnel representatives. This interdisciplinary committee decides which steps and measures are to be taken in this area within the aviation company.
Current studies prove that the air aboard aircraft is innocuous and sometimes even of better quality than in offices. For example, on March 23, 2017 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) presented its final report on a study of cabin air quality aboard commercial wide-body aircraft, in which it continues to draw the conclusion that there is currently no provable correlation between cabin air and health problems. Rather, the air quality on measuring flights was comparable to the air quality found in ordinary indoor spaces, such as classrooms or offices. Earlier measuring sequences yielded the same result.
Additionally, the Lufthansa Group runs its own process tests with technical adaptations. For example, since May 2016 the aviation company has been testing the use of special HEPA / carbon filters. These cabin air recirculation filters are equipped with an additional layer of activated carbon and are intended to further increase cabin air quality by removing volatile substances and compounds from recirculated air more quickly. Lufthansa has already equipped numerous aircraft of the Airbus A320 family with these filters for test purposes, and analyzes cabin air quality before and after installation. If the filters’ performance turns out convincingly, the Lufthansa Group will install them on addition al aircraft. Furthermore, the Lufthansa Group is in discussion with a number of manufactur ers concerning a total air filter technology and sensor systems.