Lufthansa to add green fuel surcharges of up to £61 from next year

Lufthansa planes parked at Frankfurt Airport
Under EU rules, airlines must use a blend of at least 2 per cent of sustainable aviation fuel from 2025 - Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS

Lufthansa will add a surcharge up to £61 per flight to cover the costs of using greener fuels from next year, the German airline has said.

The charges will affect flights from the European Union, the UK, Switzerland and Norway, and start from about 85p, depending on the route, the carrier said.

Under EU rules, airlines must use a blend of at least 2 per cent of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from 2025, rising steadily to 70 per cent by 2050.

The UK has even more ambitious short-term targets in place for SAF, which is created from biofuels such as used cooking oil and can cut emissions as much as 80 per cent.

Lufthansa planes parked at Berlin Schönefeld Airport
Lufthansa ranks second in Europe for passenger numbers - Fabrizio Bensch/REUTERS

But amid rising global demand for sustainable fuels, Lufthansa said that it would need to pass on the rising costs to customers for flights from Jan 1 2025.

The move by the airline, which ranks second in Europe for passenger numbers, comes after Air France and KLM announced a surcharge of up to £10 on their flights last year.

Demand for waste oil used to create SAF could soon outstrip supply from China, the world’s leading producer, warned Transport and Environment, a green NGO, last week.

It said that increased demand from airlines to comply with new green regulations was encouraging more imports from Asia.

It warned that there was an increase in virgin biofuels being incorrectly labelled as sustainable, including potentially palm oil from Malaysia.

Global targets for the use of sustainable aviation fuels in 2030 would require at least twice the used cooking oil that can be collected in the United States, Europe and China combined, the study found.