AMSTERDAM — KLM is doubling down on its commitment to sustainability by adding sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to all flights departing from Amsterdam.
In addition, starting Jan. 13, the airline is offering its customers the option of purchasing an extra amount of sustainable fuel when booking. As such, KLM hopes to stimulate the market for SAF, which it says will play an essential role in changing the face of future travel.
KLM already has a relatively substantial share of the global SAF market today, yet with a share of 0.18% in 2019, it is still less than 1% of its total fuel consumption.
“We realize that the 0.5% standard admixture on passenger tickets is a very small step, but an important one in the right direction and we hope other airlines will follow soon. We will have to work with all parties around us and come up with rock-solid solutions and innovations to further open the market for SAF,” said KLM in an official statement.
Reduce of CO2 emissions by at least 75%
The CO2 emissions of SAF that KLM currently purchases are at least 75% lower than those of fossil kerosene. That is why, in the short term, SAF is the most important means of drastically reducing CO2 emissions, thus contributing to making aviation more sustainable. The costs for the sustainable fuel variant are at least four times higher and production is lagging behind. By increasing demand, KLM hopes to further develop the market for SAF so that supply is scaled up and sustainable fuel ultimately becomes cheaper.
As of Jan. 1, 2022, France will introduce a compulsory SAF admixture percentage, though this is not yet compulsory in the Netherlands. Within Europe, there is a proposal to achieve a compulsory SAF proportion of 2% by 2025 for all flights within and from Europe. KLM and its partners in the Clean Skies for Tomorrow coalition previously announced that it is their ambition to achieve a worldwide SAF proportion of 10% in 2030. To this end, KLM has now decided to start adding more SAF voluntarily.
In addition, Air France-KLM, KLM and Air France have committed themselves to the CO2 reduction trajectory drawn up for the aviation sector by the Science Based Targets initiative. This will ensure that KLM’s objectives are in line with the targets of the UN Climate Agreement signed in Paris (net zero in 2050). Increased utilisation of SAF is a key factor in achieving these targets.
Standard admixture added to ticket price
The 0.5% SAF proportion will supplement the SAF that is already being blended for customers who have joined KLM’s Corporate and Cargo SAF programmes. A surcharge for the additional SAF will be added to the ticket price. This means KLM passengers will automatically contribute to the purchase of sustainable fuel. The surcharge will vary from 1 to 12 euros per ticket, depending on the distance flown and the seat booked (economy or business). KLM will use this contribution to finance a standard 0.5% SAF admixture on all flights from Amsterdam.
CO2ZERO service expanded with SAF option
For individual passengers who wish to further reduce the footprint of their flight, KLM has expanded ts CO2ZERO service with an option to purchase an additional quantity of SAF. This option will be available in addition to its existing compensation alternative to support a reforestation project with Gold Standard certification. Reforestation is a way in which CO2 emissions can be compensated outside the aviation industry. With the additional purchase of SAF, a passenger contributes to less use of fossil kerosene, and thus to a direct reduction of CO2 emissions as a result of flying. KLM will use the entire amount raised to purchase SAF to boost global SAF production.
Purchase of SAF
In 2011, KLM conducted the world’s first commercial flight on blended biofuel. In February 2021 it operated a commercial flight with an admixture of sustainable synthetic fuel. For SAF, KLM focuses on all technologies side by side: based on used cooking oil, forestry residues and sustainable synthetic fuel. KLM is currently purchasing relatively large volumes of SAF and has signed various purchase agreements with suppliers. This will guarantee the standard 0.5% admixture for flights departing from Amsterdam and will enable KLM to meet additional demand generated by passengers via the CO2ZERO programme, as well as demand generated by partners in KLM’s Corporate SAF Programme and the Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo SAF Programme.