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Lufthansa’s introduction of what the airline has dubbed “Green Fares” has proved popular with the flying public.
The fares, which are designed to offer a more sustainable, eco-friendly option when booking air travel have been available since mid-February and since then some 200,000 consumers have purchased the special fare, according to new data released by Lufthansa Group.
The ticket price for Green Fares includes the cost of offsetting 100 percent of the CO2 emissions associated with the flight being booked. This is achieved by using 20 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and 80 percent by contributing to “high-quality climate protection projects,” according to the airline.
Only available within Europe and North Africa at the moment, the specific route with the highest number of Green Fares bookings thus far is Zurich, Switzerland to London via Lufthansa partner SWISS. Coming in second place with the most Green Fares bookings is the Hamburg, Germany to Munich, Germany route with Lufthansa.
In addition to helping to address climate change, the Green Fares offer other perks including additional status miles and a free rebooking option. Airlines offering these new fares include Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Edelweiss, Eurowings Discover and Air Dolomiti. They can be purchased on more than 730,000 flights per year within Europe and to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Sustainable travel. (photo via smshoot / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Lufthansa's Green Fares however, have not been without controversy. After being introduced in February, the new fares were labeled “greenwashing” by some climate activists.
In particular, the campaign organization Flight Free UK tweeted its criticism of the new fares after they were introduced saying: “Lufthansa is introducing a new Green(washing) Fare. So if you’re worried about aviation emissions, don’t be! You can just pay a little bit extra and it all magically goes away."
Anna Hughes, director of Flight Free UK told The Independent that “Schemes like this lull passengers into a false sense of security, leading them to believe their emissions have been dealt with."
The campaign organization followed its initial, critical tweet on the topic with yet another one. The organization criticized Lufthansa by sharing an image of a “greenwash” advertising board which reads: “At Lufthansa we distract you with pictures of trees while we fry the planet."
Greenwashing is a term that is used to describe a company or business that makes claims about eco-friendly or sustainable business practices that have not been verified or which deliberately deceives consumers. For its part, the airline has said the Green Fares are an important stepping stone toward addressing climate concerns
“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 said.An airline spokesperson also told The Independent with the following statement about their new fares: “The new Green Fares are an easy way for our customers to book a fare that makes flying more sustainable.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently called on governments around the world to help foster the creation of more sustainable aviation fuels by adopting policies that promote their development.
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Mia Taylor is an award-winning journalist who has two decades of experience. Most recently she worked as a staff writer for...
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