In order to meet the challenges in the area of climate and environmental protection, DER Touristik and the Lufthansa Group are expanding their cooperation: As part of a strategic partnership, DER Touristik is the first major tour operator to purchase Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) from the Lufthansa Group. This consists of biogenic residues such as used cooking oils and reduces CO₂ emissions by around 80 percent compared to conventional kerosene. With the SAF it has purchased, DER Touristik will offer its guests more climate-friendly air travel using SAF at no extra charge. The costs for the SAF are covered by the tour operator.
Specifically, DER Touristik uses the SAF purchased from the Lufthansa Group to improve the carbon footprint of selected products. These tours will be presented in the DERTOUR Magalog - a mixture of magazine and catalog - to be published in September 2023 with the title "Conscious Travel". For example, an SAF share of 20 percent will be fed into the flight system for the Lufthansa flights of the 2024 round trips presented in the Magalog. This will reduce the passenger's individual flight-related CO₂ emissions. These round trips include two individual DERTOUR trips to Ireland, where guests travel locally by public transportation, as well as five guided small-group trips to Albena on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, Menorca, Andalusia, Madeira, and Lisbon and Porto. By the end of 2024, selected Lufthansa Group flights booked in addition to one of the sustainably certified hotels in the new DERTOUR Magalog will also feed 20 percent SAF into the flight system at DER Touristik's expense. In addition, REWE Reisen in Germany and Billa Reisen in Austria will each put together two more sustainable vacation offers with Lufthansa Group flights in Europe in the fall of 2023.
As part of the strategic partnership between DER Touristik and the Lufthansa Group, various other measures are also planned that will sensitize vacationers and travel agency experts to the topic of SAF and make it tangible for them, including an expert study trip to Ireland for travel agencies. Last spring, the Lufthansa Group and DER Touristik had already jointly launched more sustainable travel offers in an initial test run.
A crucial key to more sustainable flying
"We are very pleased to have DER Touristik as a cooperation partner at our side who is committed to the sustainable transformation of the travel industry, who is breaking new ground together with us and who is sensitizing its customers to forward-looking travel offers," says Frank Naeve, Senior Vice President Global Markets & Stations Lufthansa Group. "With our airlines, we want to connect people, cultures and economies in the most sustainable way possible, reduce the environmental impact of flying and use required resources as efficiently as possible. The use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel is a crucial key to more sustainable flying in this regard."
"Our goal is to make tourism more climate-friendly and reduce emissions from vacation travel. A key lever in this is flying," explains Dr. Ingo Burmester, CEO
DER Touristik Central Europe. "At the same time, we are investing in the shift toward a lower-emission airline industry with our commitment. As a tour operator and flight broker, we see it as our responsibility to get involved in this area. As an industry, we can only achieve change by joining forces and standing shoulder to shoulder with long-standing, trustworthy partners such as the Lufthansa Group."
Lufthansa Group pursues ambitious sustainability goals
The Lufthansa Group has set itself ambitious climate protection goals and aims to achieve a neutral CO₂ balance by 2050. Already by 2030, the Lufthansa Group wants to halve its net CO₂ emissions compared to 2019 through reduction and compensation measures. The reduction target until 2030 was validated by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in August 2022. The Lufthansa Group was the first airline group in Europe with a science-based CO₂ reduction target in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. For effective climate protection, the Lufthansa Group is focusing in particular on accelerated fleet modernization, the use of SAF, the continuous optimization of flight operations, and offers for its private travelers and corporate customers to make a flight or the transport of cargo more sustainable. In addition, the Lufthansa Group has been actively supporting global climate and weather research for many years.
Background to the use of SAF: There is no refueling of individual flights with pure SAF. As a so-called "drop-in" fuel, SAF is compatible with fossil kerosene and can be blended with it without any problems. Before transport to the airport, SAF is blended with fossil aviation fuel. The maximum blending ratio of SAF to fossil aviation fuel currently permitted under the fuel specification is 50 percent. In this way, the passenger's individual flight-related CO₂ emissions are reduced. Compared to conventional kerosene, SAF has a significantly reduced CO₂ footprint. In the case of SAF made from biogenic residues, it is around 80 percent CO₂ that is saved.