Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is the umbrella term for all aviation fuels that are produced without the use of fossil energy sources. Various production processes exist, and different feedstocks are available. From the Lufthansa Group's perspective, they are essential for the energy transition in aviation. The SAF currently used by the Lufthansa Group is produced from biogenic residual materials, for example from used cooking oils. For years, the Lufthansa Group has been one of the largest purchasers of SAF and has secured SAF for a quarter of a billion US dollars in order to be able to meet the foreseeable increase in demand in the coming years.

However, the amount of SAF currently available on the global market is not yet sufficient to use large quantities in flight operations, and the price of SAF is significantly higher than that of fossil kerosene. The Lufthansa Group is therefore active in numerous projects to drive market ramp-up and thus the availability of SAF.

Compensaid

With the "Compensaid" platform, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub has developed a forward-looking customer solution for the use of SAF in 2019. There, travelers can replace conventional kerosene with SAF for their air travel, regardless of their choice of airline, and thus make a personal contribution to climate protection.

The kerosene of the future: SAF from renewable energies


The Lufthansa Group has been advancing key technologies for the production of SAF for more than a decade and has built up an extensive network of partnerships.
The focus of its commitment is now on electricity-based aviation fuels, so-called Power-to-Liquid fuels (PtL). They also belong to the category of Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The PtL technology uses renewably generated electricity, water and CO₂ (from the atmosphere or industry) to create a synthetic crude oil that can be processed into kerosene. PtL aviation fuels are currently still in the development stage toward industrial production, but in the long term they are considered the key to CO2-neutral flying, as they can theoretically be produced without availability limits.

This is how the Power-to-Liquid-Procedure works

Involved in various PtL projects

The Lufthansa Group is involved in various PtL projects and is a partner and pilot customer of one of the world's first plants for the production of PtL crude oil in Werlte, Germany, which opened in October 2021. The crude oil is ultimately processed by a refinery into eFuel for aviation. The plant is operated by the climate protection organization atmosfair. Over the next five years, the Lufthansa Group will purchase at least 25,000 liters of PtL fuel annually and make it available to clients.

Pioneering achievement

The Lufthansa Group has been intensively involved in researching, testing and using SAF and in 2011 pioneered the world's first long-term testing of SAF 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 SAF can be used in flight operations without any problems and that no infrastructure adaptation is necessary. Later, the company became involved in basic research on the mixing behavior of alternative and conventional kerosene.