The Lufthansa Group’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 is certainly an ambitious one, head of stakeholder relations Steffen Milchsack cedes. But it is one he believes is feasible.
After all, the likes of Etihad Airways have made similar pledges and with new technologies being developed by manufacturers, airlines now have access to better, more sustainable tools. Lufthansa’s Milchsack says the group’s long-term vision is to even achieve climate-neutral flight operations.
“This is not an easy thing to do because the number of passengers worldwide is increasing year-by-year. We have a clear strategy to reduce the CO2 emissions of our airlines step-by-step despite this rising demand for mobility. The path to climate-neutral flight operations is a mix of measures that are immediately effective as well as those for the long-term.”
In the short-term, Lufthansa believes it can reduce carbon emissions by investing in new aircraft and engine technologies. Milchsack says that over the next 10 years, the group will be receive a new, more fuel-efficient aircraft every two weeks on average.
The CO2 reduction compared to previous models is up to 25%, according to Milchsack, who lists the introduction of the Airbus A320neo and A350-900 as evidence of Lufthansa’s past investments in more efficient aircraft.
He continues: “In the long-term, sustainable alternative fuels are a crucial key to directly neutralising CO2 emissions in aviation. We support the development and use of these promising alternatives to conventional kerosene with concrete projects.
“With the in-house developed internet platform ‘Compensaid’, our customers as well as travellers of all other airlines worldwide already have the possibility to replace the conventional kerosene on their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.”
Milchsack says that the climate debate in the months preceding the Covid-19 crisis has increased awareness around the globe including of voluntary CO2 reduction offers in the industry.
According to Milchsack, the effort to reduce carbon emissions must retain a global focus.
“We have always pointed out that there must be internationally valid climate protection rules in order to achieve significant CO2 savings without distorting competition.
“To this end, the global climate protection instrument CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) has now been launched, which is designed to make the growth of international air traffic CO2-neutral from 2020.”