Austrian Airlines Makes It Easier For Passengers To Buy Sustainable Fuel

Austrian Airlines has begun to offer passengers the option to purchase sustainable fuel as part of its flight booking process. The airline has incorporated the Lufthansa Group’s Compensaid tool into the process to allow passengers to offset their CO2 when flying with the Austrian flag carrier.

Austrian Airlines, Sustainable Fuel, CO2 emissions
Austrian Airlines is making it easier for passengers to offset their CO2 emissions. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

One of the top priorities for the aviation industry right now is addressing its environmental impact. This has seen many carriers turning to carbon offset programs and sustainable fuels. Meanwhile, aircraft assembly giant Airbus is looking to Hydrogen-powered aircraft for the future. This is an approach backed by British Airways through its funding of Zeroavia.

Buy sustainable fuel for Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines has included a link to Lufthansa Group’s Compensaid platform into its booking process. Effectively, the platform allows passengers to offset the CO2 of their flights, either through planting trees or by buying sustainable fuels. Passengers are also able to specify a mix between the two.

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Having entered the traveler information in the Austrian Airlines booking process, passengers are presented with the option to offset their CO2. Clicking this takes the passenger to a new site in a new tab containing the Compensaid platform in Austrian branded. It will already be populated with the relevant flight details.

Austrian Airlines, Sustainable Fuel, CO2 emissions
A box in the booking process directs passengers to an external site to offset their CO2. Photo: Austrian Airlines Website

In this case, Simple Flying tested a oneway flight from Vienna to Frankfurt in Economy. According to the platform, this booking would generate 79kg of CO2. The passenger’s total CO2 contribution could be offset ‘instantly’ for €51.15 by choosing 100% sustainable fuel.

Austrian Airlines, Sustainable Fuel, CO2 emissions
Passengers can choose how they wish to offset their emissions. Photo: Austrian Airlines Website

Meanwhile, only selecting the platform’s Climate Project Portfolio only costs €1.57 but will take ten years to offset the CO2 emissions. A 50/50 split would cost €26.37 and take five years to offset the CO2.

The problems with sustainable fuel

However, sustainable fuel has some problems, both for Austrian Airlines and the passengers buying it. Rather than purchasing sustainable fuel for their specific flight, passengers buy a set amount of sustainable fuel. This is then collated, bought in bulk and fed into the airline’s operation.

However, Austrian has to ask passengers to voluntarily pay for sustainable fuel due to its cost. In a way, it is a vicious circle. Currently, sustainable fuel costs three to five times that of standard kerosene-based fuel, meaning that it isn’t sustainable from a financial perspective. As such, demand is kept low, meaning that the sustainable fuel chain development that would bring the costs down is slow.

Gazpromneft-Aero Smart Fuel
Airlines are becoming increasingly conscious when it comes to sustainability. Photo: Gazpromneft-Aero

Despite this, airlines are starting to invest seriously into bringing down sustainable fuel costs by increasing production. For example, two months ago, Simple Flying reported that British Airways hopes to start using sustainable fuel next year.

Would you use Austrian Airlines’ Compensaid tool to offset your emissions? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!