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A climate-neutral aviation future - Lufthansa bolsters sustainability efforts

Download: Printable PDF Date: 19 Jan 2020 09:22 (UTC) category:
A climate-neutral aviation future - Lufthansa bolsters sustainability efforts  - Airlines publisher
Dana Ermolenko
Aircraft: Airplanes

Lufthansa Group has reinforced its commitment to sustainability by stepping up its efforts aimed at making the future of aviation climate-neutral. The Group has been investing in climate-friendly planes and alternative fuels in addition to improving all aspects of flight operations through the adoption of sustainable practices and innovative technologies. 

With the objective of building up an eco-friendly aircraft fleet, Lufthansa has undertaken the replacement of its older models with new, lower CO2 emission planes, including A350-900. In March 2019, the Group’s Supervisory Board approved the purchase of a total of 40 ultramodern long-haul aircraft for its airlines, with a list-price investment volume of $12 billion. Set to be delivered between late 2022 and 2027, 20 Boeing 787-9 and 20 additional Airbus A350-900 planes will replace the Group’s four-engine aircraft fleet. 

The Group is also offering its customers the opportunity to be part of the ongoing sustainability initiatives by allowing them to purchase Sustainable Aviation Fuel for their trip. Keen to make Sustainable Aviation Fuels accessible to a broad audience, Lufthansa Innovation Hub has developed the Compensaid platform that will allow Lufthansa and SWISS passengers to allow the use of sustainable alternative fuels when booking their flights. The world's first online platform of its kind, which provides end customers with a transparent and rapidly effective way to offset their CO2 emissions when flying, calculates the price difference between SAF and fossil kerosene and customers only pay the surcharge for the innovative fuel.

Alternatively, travelers can support reforestation projects through the Swiss foundation myclimate, which has been a partner of the Lufthansa Group for effective climate protection since 2007, and thus achieve positive long-term climate effects. With the Compensaid platform, customers have the choice of which timeline and approach they want to use to reduce CO2 emissions from their flight. 

Furthermore, Lufthansa Group has extended its support to establish Single European Sky (SES), a standardized airspace above Europe that would eliminate the need for aircraft to fly detours. According to the European air traffic control organization, Eurocontrol, airlines could conserve up to 10 percent of fuel and reduce their CO2 emissions proportionally. The airlines of the Lufthansa Group alone would be able to reduce their CO2 emissions by 3 million tons per year. 

Heinrich Lange, Senior Director Sales, Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan Lufthansa Group, said: “Alongside the strong growth in our fleet, network and passenger numbers, our responsibility to be at the forefront of sustainable development of the aviation industry has been growing. With the objective of shaping future mobility in environmentally compatible ways, we have been actively pursuing a robust climate protection strategy. We have set an ambitious target of a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 as compared to 2005 and 2020 represents a major juncture in our journey to sustainability as we aim to increase fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent this year. We remain committed to exploring new avenues to bring our aviation sustainability drive to all our markets including the Middle East.” 

Lufthansa Group has also been keen on enhancing the efficiency of its airlines’ flight operations. Innovation in aircraft and engine technologies, as well as alternative fuels; better use of airspace and needs-based airport infrastructure; efficient aircraft sizes, optimal flight routes and speeds, as well as optimized processes on the ground; and a global, sensibly designed, market-based system for reducing emissions are key areas of focus for the Group. 

In addition, the Group has rolled out a number of initiatives to transform its day-to-day operations environmentally friendly, including 100 percent CO2 compensation for all business trips of employees, fully neutral ground transports in its home markets Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the complete adoption of eco-electricity in its buildings these countries. Other sustainability endeavors the Group currently pursues include, CO2 offsetting for corporate customers in the home markets, regional food sourcing for food on board, and plastic reduction on board.

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