The airlines of Lufthansa Group are to trial a new “green fare”, which the group claims will include “full compensation” for carbon emissions. The trail includes flights operated by Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines on flights departing Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Lufthansa’s “green fare” will include 100% compensation for the passenger’s contribution to carbon emissions, according to the airline. 80% of the emissions will be offset through funding climate protection projects, while the remaining 20% is accounted for by the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
Earlier this week, Lufthansa Group signed an MoU with Shell to receive up to 594 million gallons of SAF between 2024 and 2030.
The new fare choice is displayed during the booking process alongside the group’s existing fare classes of light, classic and flex. It is available on both economy and business class tickets within Europe, and also available from travel agencies.
While Lufthansa made no comment on the pricing structure. However, on a one-way ticket from Oslo to Munich in September, the green fare was comparable in price to the existing flex ticket.
The choice of Scandinavian markets is an interesting place to start. Disposable income is relatively high across the region and so if the fare trial doesn’t work in Scandinavia, chances are it won’t take off elsewhere.
That being said, it does conflict with Sweden’s flygskam trend. Emerging in 2017, the “flight shame” trend of switching to long-distance trains over planes continues to hold.
How green is a green fare?
Already responsible for approximately 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, aviation is now one of the fastest-growing sources.
A previous BBC article claimed just 1% of flyers chose to offset emissions when the option was available. Such options are often available as an add-on by airlines. Whether offering a specific green fare makes a difference remains to be seen.
There has also been plenty of criticism aimed at the carbon offsetting schemes adopted by airlines, despite their status as a short-term bridging solution.
Lufthansa Group executive board member Christina Foerster said the group wants “to make CO2-neutral flying a matter of course in the future.”
“People don’t just want to fly and discover the world – they also want to protect it. We are driven by the need to support our customers with the right offers,” she added.