On Monday 10 January, Air France updated its frequent fliers on their impressive achievements in the area of moving to ever more sustainable flights. For several years, Air France has been committed to reducing its CO2 emissions and is working with industry partners to find solutions to the climate crisis. Between 2005 and 2019, they cut their CO2 emissions by 6% (despite an increase in traffic) and have declared the next step is to achieve a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared with 2005. The real goal is to achieve zero net emissions by 2050 — an ambitious but necessary goal to keep global warming below 2°C by the end of the century. Currently, the main tool for reducing our carbon footprint is to invest in a modern, more fuel-efficient fleet. Air France invests 1 billion euros annually in its fleet renewal. The second mechanism they have at their disposal is to incorporate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on their flights. It is now possible to manufacture fuel from used oils and wood residues or agricultural waste, which can reduce CO2 emissions by 75% over their life cycle compared to fossil fuel.
These fuels, whose production does not compete with the food industry, can be incorporated safely without any modification to aircraft. The quantities available are still very limited, and sustainable aviation fuel is currently 4 to 8 times more expensive than conventional jet fuel. However, the emergence of large-scale industrial production facilities in France and Europe will help reduce these costs. From the beginning of 2022, French regulations will require the incorporation of an average of 1% SAF on flights departing from France. A “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” contribution will be included in the price of each ticket from 10 January, costing from €1 to €4 in the Economy cabin and from €1.50 to €12 in the Business cabin, depending on the distance. Thanks to this contribution — and to the voluntary participation of Air France’s corporate customers — over 15,000 tonnes of SAF will be integrated into their aircraft in 2022, i.e., 10 times more than the previous year and significantly beyond the mandatory amount. In addition, from 13 January every passenger will be able to voluntarily contribute to the purchase of additional Sustainable Aviation Fuel via the Air France website to reduce the trip’s carbon footprint. Every euro raised will be invested in the purchase of this fuel. By the end of 2022, members of their Flying Blue Frequent Flyer Programme will also be able to purchase SAF with their Flying Blue miles and earn additional XP, increasing their access to the different programme levels.