For the Lufthansa Group, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is essential for the energy transition in aviation. Compared to fossil fuels, SAF today reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent. The Lufthansa Group is working intensively on various projects to make more SAF available. Currently they are only available in extremely small quantities on the global market. With the "Compensaid" platform, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub has developed a forward-looking customer solution for the use of SAF. Passengers can replace conventional kerosene with SAF, regardless of the choice of airline, and thus fly CO2-neutral.

Market development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

In the past decade, the Lufthansa Group has been closely involved with the research, testing and use of sustainable aviation fuel. The focus is on kerosene based on waste materials, ligneous biomass and renewable electrical energy (Power-to-Liquid, PtL). In 2019, for instance, the Lufthansa Group signed a letter of intent with Heide refinery on future supplies of PtL fuel to Hamburg Airport. This was followed in spring 2020 by a letter of intent with the ETH Zurich and its spin-offs Climeworks and Synhelion, also for a possible cooperation to help accelerate the market launch of SAF. Since the end of 2020, the Lufthansa Group has participated in the HySupply initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and acatech. Its goal is to establish a supply chain for green hydrogen from Australia, an important component for PtL kerosene. In early 2021, the Lufthansa Group also announced its planned participation in another pioneering project in Abu Dhabi to generate green hydrogen. One of the partners in both projects is Siemens Energy.

Pioneering achievement

The Lufthansa Group has been intensively involved in researching, testing and using sustainable alternative fuel and in 2011 pioneered the world's first long-term testing of biokerosene in regular flight operations. The project was accompanied by detailed emission measurements and research into production processes and biomass availability. Lufthansa demonstrated at that time that sustainable alternative fuel can be used in flight operations without any problems and that no infrastructure adaptation is necessary. Later, the company performed fundamental research into how alternative and conventional kerosene mix and made selective use of novel synthesis methods.

Strict criteria

The Lufthansa Group is involved in various research institutions and industry associations and is in constant exchange about further developments in the field of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Before the aircraft of the Group's airlines can use SAF, various basic requirements must be met. These include, above all, a guaranteed quality specification, sustainability in production and supply routes and, of course, economic efficiency.