Riga. To raise awareness about the growing significance of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in air traffic and its role in achieving climate neutrality goals, the Latvian national airline airBaltic has been offering passengers the option to contribute to this cause since May 2023. Throughout the summer, the purchase of the SAF ancillary product has already been integrated into nearly 5 000 bookings.
airBaltic procures and consumes the contributed fuel within 12 months’ time after passenger has ordered it. A full overview of the SAF procurement in 2023 will be featured in the Sustainability and Annual Report.
Zita Barānova, Head of Sustainability at airBaltic: “Within the Baltic region, aviation plays a pivotal role in maintaining regional connectivity, and this summer, we have observed that our passengers are starting to consider more environmentally-friendly air travel options. However, there is a room for a future growth and we view sustainability as a step-by-step shift towards progressively greater integration of SAF. We eagerly welcome every passenger who contributes in fostering the demand for environmentally more friendly fuel. Together, we are creating a growing market for SAF, which is one of the key tools on the road to climate-neutral aviation. We are committed to enhancing the availability of SAF to provide our passengers with a broader range of choices when they decide to make more sustainable travel purchases.”
The summer statistics highlight the increased significance of SAF purchases for passengers traveling from the Baltics to destinations such as Zurich, Berlin, Tallinn, Helsinki, London, and Frankfurt.
A small amount of SAF can be added to flights, by purchasing it along with bookings on the airBaltic homepage www.airBaltic.com. The price of SAF varies depending on the ticket type, starting from EUR 2.99 per person, per flight.
airBaltic Club members have the opportunity of using their accumulated loyalty points to purchase an unlimited amount of SAF kilograms at the airBaltic Club rewards shop: https://spend.airbalticclub.com
In the airline industry, SAF is one of the most effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions. The fuel is derived from sustainable feedstocks and has a similar chemical composition to traditional fossil jet fuel. However, whereas fossil fuels add to the overall level of CO2 by emitting carbon that had been previously locked away, SAF recycles the CO2 that has been absorbed by the biomass used in the feedstock over the course of its life [Source: IATA]. 1kg of SAF produces up to 80% less CO2 emissions over the full product life cycle compared to the same amount of fossil fuels. There are still a number of challenges in SAF production, such as insufficient production capacity and high production costs. As a result, this fuel is up to three times more expensive than fossil aviation fuel – which is the fuel that is used most in aviation.
airBaltic operates more than 100 routes from Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius, and Tampere, offering connections to a wide range of destinations in the airline's route network in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucasus region. A complete schedule of airBaltic flights and tickets are available on the company's homepage at www.airbaltic.com