Major airline adds extra biofuel charge to tickets

Jet fuel accounts for between 20% and 30% of airlines’ costs

Air France announced on Monday a surcharge of up to €12 ($13.50) for plane tickets as it seeks to offset the cost of using more expensive sustainable aviation fuel.

The levy will be added from January 10, it said in a message to clients, as reported by France 24. Travelers in economy class will pay between €1 and €4 more while business class customers will be charged between €1.50 and €12 extra, depending on the distance to their destination.

Air France’s Dutch partner, KLM, and low-cost subsidiary Transavia will also implement the surcharge on flights departing from France and the Netherlands. 

Sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, is between four and eight times more expensive than traditional fuel. It is mainly made from used cooking oil, forestry, and agricultural waste. It allows airlines to cut carbon emissions by 75% compared with kerosene over the lifecycle of the fuel. Air traffic accounts for between 2.5% and 3% of global carbon emissions.

READ MORE: Airliner fueled by mustard seed oil takes flight from US to Australia

Air France said it was confident that the cost of SAF will drop as more European countries start mass-producing it. 

The airline industry aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. A new law that took effect in France on January 1 requires airlines refueling in the country to use at least 1% sustainable fuel in their fuel mix.

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