Air France has detailed its increase in ticket prices to pay for sustainable aviation fuel.

Vincent Etchebehere, VP Sustainability and New Mobilities at the airline, said that since the beginning of 2022, “French regulations have required us to incorporate an average of 1 per cent sustainable aviation fuel on flights departing from France. In 2025, this will rise to 2 per cent, then to 5 per cent in 2030, for all flights departing from Europe.”

As a result, the airline will be increasing the amount of SAF on its flight, and including this in the price of all tickets (from last week). The airline says that the amount will vary between €1 and €8 in  economy and between €1.50 and €24 in business, depending on the distance. It says this will help accelerate the adoption of SAF.

The airline is aiming to incorporate at least 10 per cent SAF worldwide in 2030 on its entire global network “going well above the French and European mandates.”, and in 2022, it “made a commitment to suppliers Total Energies, Nesté and DG Fuels to secure part of its future supplies.”

Etchebehere said, “We have set ourselves a target of a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre by 2030 (compared to 2019), translating into a 12 per cent reduction in total CO2 emissions. The validation of this target by the independent reference body SBTi (Science Based Target initiative) on the basis of scientific criteria, confirms that our decarbonisation trajectory is in line with the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global warming to less than +2°C.”

Between 2005 and 2019, Air France reduced its total CO2 emissions by 6 per cent. It has also started to replace older aircraft with new more fuel-efficient generation aircraft which will make up 45 per cent of its fleet by 2025 and 70 per cent by 2030, and eco-piloting, in particular taxiing on one engine and adapted flight paths.

The airline’s emissions strategy is called ‘ACT’

Air France launches CO2 emissions reduction strategy – ‘Air France ACT’

It excludes “offsetting” and has three pillars:

  • Reducing the direct emissions generated by Air France operations
  • Reducing indirect emissions generated upstream and downstream of the company’s activities
  • Supporting projects that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere

On this, there are five priority actions to reduce and avoid CO2 emissions

  • Fleet renewal with new-generation aircraft such as the A320, A220, Airbus A350 which, since they are more fuel-efficient, emit up to 25 per cent less CO2, and have a noise footprint reduced by 33 per cent on average. Air France says that by 2030, these aircraft will make up 70 per cent of its fleet compared to seven per cent currently.
  • Increased use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Since the beginning of this year, Air France has been incorporating the equivalent of one per cent sustainable aviation fuel on all its flights departing from France. By 2030, the company aims to incorporate at least 10 per cent SAF on all its flights, and 63 per cent in 2050.
  • Eco-piloting techniques: taxiing using only one of the engines whenever possible, optimised flight paths using artificial intelligence, continuous descent in cooperation with the air traffic control authorities, to name but a few. These initiatives, made possible by the efforts of Air France flight crews trained in these practices, reduce CO2 emissions by two to three per cent on average over the year.
  • Introduction of a more responsible catering offer, to reduce the carbon footprint. On board flights and in the lounges, Air France “favours local, seasonal produce whenever possible”. The company also offers customers a pre-selection of dishes before the flight in the long-haul business cabin to reduce food waste. In addition, by the end of 2022, Air France will have eliminated 90 per cent of single-use plastics compared to 2018, after having replaced in 2019 plastic cups, cutlery and stirrers with sustainable alternatives.
  • Developing intermodal transport, to offer low-carbon transport alternatives for short distance journeys, notably within a reinforced partnership between Air France and French national rail operator SNCF.

The Air France-KLM Corporate SAF programme was extended in 2020 with the following partners: ABN Amro, Accenture, Arcadis B.V., Arcadis N.V., Loyens & Loeff, Air Traffic Control The Netherlands (LVNL), Microsoft, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Neste, the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), PGGM, Schiphol Group, SHV Energy, Södra, the University of Delft, Lavazza, Finco Fuel, Hans Grohe SE and IMS Gear. This supports corporate customers by giving them the means to invest in SAF beyond regulatory requirements.

Air France aims for sustainability

The airline is also giving passengers the opportunity to contribute to the purchase of additional sustainable aviation fuel when you book your ticket. Members of the airline’s Flying Blue loyalty programme can contribute to the purchase of SAF by using Miles and earn additional XP.

The airline says that in 2022, it used 16,075 tonnes of SAF in 2022 and reduced its CO2 emissions by over 40,000 tonnes as a result.