Many airlines now have voluntary carbon offsetting schemes, where passengers are encouraged to pay a certain amount (depending on class travelled and distance) to offset the emissions from their flights.
The Lufthansa Group has now gone one step further by offering so-called green fares from Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) on all group airlines.
By doing so, the Lufthansa Group says that it is the first international aviation group to offer its customers a separate fare for CO2-neutral flying with SAF. This is an interesting development, and it’s likely that we will see more airlines doing something similar in future.
A press release from Brussels Airlines explains how this will work:
When booking Lufthansa Group airline flights from Scandinavia, the Green Fare is now displayed alongside the familiar fares (Light, Classic, Flex) as an additional fare option in the online booking screen directly after the flight selection.
The new offer is available in both Economy Class and Business Class for flights within Europe. In addition, starting in September, B2B travel partners in Scandinavia will also be able to take advantage of this new option.
The green fare uses the split of 80% carbon offset projects and 20% SAF. As an incentive, the Green fare also includes additional status miles and free rebooking options.
Brussels Airlines says that it has already had success in encouraging passengers to voluntarily offset their flights.
A May press release says that the airline had seen a preliminary conversion rate of nearly 7%, above its initial target of 5%. That’s impressive, when you consider that voluntary carbon offsetting rates can be as low as 1-3%.
The Lufthansa Group as a whole has a goal of halving net carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2019 and flying CO2-neutral by 2050. This involves accelerated fleet modernisation, the continuous optimization of flight operations and the use of sustainable aviation fuels.
As a result, at the same time as unveiling the green fares from Scandinavia, Lufthansa signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shell, for the energy giant to supply Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in a volume of up to 1.8 million metric tons for the years 2024-2030.
Of course Scandinavia is an area of the world where awareness of climate issues, and consumer willingness to go ‘green’ is quite high. As a result, it makes sense for Lufthansa to try the green fare programme here first.
This comes as voluntary carbon offsetting schemes have been criticised for their low uptake. One reason for that is that the option often isn’t even presented in the booking flow.
Putting it front and centre when the customer buys a ticket and offering an actual green fare with offsets built in, means it can’t be missed. Meanwhile offering extra miles and other perks such as free flight changes, will appeal to those who fly the most, and might in turn be more aware of their overall carbon footprint.