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10 January 2022

Air France raises its prices to put sustainable fuel in its planes

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Paris, France | AFP | 10/01/2022 12:50 UTC+1

Air France has announced that it is increasing its ticket prices by 1 to 12 euros to offset some of the extra cost of using sustainable aviation fuel, which helps reduce CO2 emissions.

"A +Sustainable Aviation Fuel+ contribution will be integrated from January 10 in the ticket price: from 1 to 4 euros in Economy cabin, from 1.50 to 12 euros in Business cabin, depending on the distance," it says in a message to its customers.

The group's other airlines, KLM and Transavia, are also affected by the measure, Air France said.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), which are produced from used oil or forest and agricultural residues, reduce CO2 emissions, the main greenhouse gas, by 75% over their life cycle compared to fossil aviation fuel. Aviation kerosene currently represents between 20% and 30% of airline costs and SAF is four to eight times more expensive. They are currently produced in quantities far too small to meet the needs.

"The emergence of large-scale production facilities in France and Europe will help reduce these costs," according to Air France. Like the rest of the airline sector, the company must also rebuild its cash flow after the Covid-19 shock which drowned it in debt.

Air France is also offering its passengers, starting Thursday, to "voluntarily contribute to the purchase of additional sustainable aviation fuel" on its website to reduce the carbon footprint of their travel. "Each euro of voluntary contribution will be invested in the purchase of these fuels," it assures.

France introduced on January 1 an obligation to incorporate 1% of sustainable fuel in aviation kerosene and set up a roadmap to rise to 2% in 2025 and 5% in 2030. The European Commission, as part of its new "Fit for 55" climate package, is also proposing a gradual incorporation mandate, from 2% in 2025 to 63% in 2050.

Global air transport, which contributes 2.5 to 3% of global emissions, has set itself the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this, it is counting on the renewal of fleets with more fuel-efficient aircraft, but most of the expected gains will come from the use of non-fossil fuels.

Sustainable fuels represented less than 0.1% of the 360 billion liters of fuel used by aviation in 2019.

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