Many airlines offer passengers the opportunity to pay a bit extra on their flights to purchase Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for the trip. Most of those, however, don’t alter their SAF contracts based on traveler participation. airBaltic‘s recently launched program appears to be rather different, avoiding that greenwashing approach.
Together, we are thus creating a growing demand for more sustainable aviation fuel, which is one of the key tools on the road to climate-neutral aviation.– Zita Barānova, Head of Sustainability at airBaltic
In announcing the deal Zita Barānova, Head of Sustainability at airBaltic, shared that approximately 4.4% of fuel consumed by the carrier in 2022 “contained SAF supplements.” While the company wants that number to grow, it also likes the idea (as do other airlines) of letting consumers help pay for it. With SAFs typically running at triple the cost of JET-A, the cost factor cannot be ignored.
Where airBaltic differs from other airlines is that the carrier says it will actually purchase more SAF as passengers chip in.
A company spokesperson confirms, “Our passengers are offered to add a small amount of approximately 1-1.5 kg (depending of economy or business class) extra SAF now. Taking into consideration expected increase of SAF production and availability in future in global market our calculations show that airBaltic is able to procure this extra amount of SAF within 12 month period from passengers flight, additionally to the amount we already procure on annual basis.”
Part of meeting this goal is tempered expectations. The company is not selling full offsets and it knows that. But it beats the greenwashing others have pursued under similar auspices.
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