Airlines have tried selling carbon offsets and alternative fuel options to passengers for a few years now, generally with minimal success. The Lufthansa Group of airlines now hopes to boost sales by making “Green” flights an option earlier in the booking flow, akin to picking between Economy Light or a flexible fare.
We already offer the most comprehensive portfolio for more sustainable travel and are now expanding this further with the Green Fares. The product launch is an important building block in our efforts to make air travel more climate-friendly.– Christina Foerster, Member of the Lufthansa Group’s Executive Board responsible for Brand and Sustainability.
Passengers purchasing Lufthansa Group’s Green Fares will see their flight emissions offset through a combination of 20% Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) and 80% “high-quality climate protection projects.” The latter appears to be a fancier way of saying carbon offsets. The efficacy of such offset programs has been called into question in recent years as many are not really delivering on their promises, drawing accusations of greenwashing. KLM faces a lawsuit over similar greenwashing claims.
For its part, Lufthansa Group says the fares have sold well in trial runs across Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. “This showed that the demand for more sustainable travel offers is increasing,” explains Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Lufthansa Group’s Executive Board responsible for Global Markets and Network.” Now we are consistently taking the next logical step and are adding Green Fares to our well-known fare structure for flights throughout Europe and North Africa… making it even easier for our customers to book more sustainable offers.”
The new Green Fares will be offered by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Edelweiss, Eurowings Discover, and Air Dolomiti covering more than 730,000 flights per year within Europe and to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The fares can be booked via the airlines’ websites as well as the NDC platform in Economy Class and Business Class.
Perhaps most unclear from the new Lufthansa Group fares is just how much of the commitment from consumers really will go towards purchasing additional SAFs for the carrier. The Group has a sizable SAF commitment, but acquiring more than is currently contracted would likely prove difficult in the short term. SAF production remains in the nascent stages and there isn’t much capacity to deliver more to airlines today.
Separately, however, the company does say it will issue a carbon mitigation certificate to corporate accounts that purchase the new fares, helping them to meet their targets.
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