Lufthansa’s introduction of Green Fare flights has been met with “greenwashing” accusations.
The new pricier fare is available for passengers to buy from today, with 100 per cent carbon offsetting built into the ticket price.
But climate activists have voiced concerns about the suggestion that these flights’ CO2 emissions are being compensated for.
The German airline says the cost to the climate will be offset in two ways: 20 per cent of its offsetting is said to come through using Sustainable Aviation Fuels, while the other 80 per cent will be made up of contributing to climate protection initiatives.
Yesterday, campaign organisation Flight Free UK tweeted: “Lufthansa is introducing a new Green(washing) Fare. So if you’re worried about aviation emissions, don’t be! You can just pay a little bit extra and it all magically goes away.”
After being tested last year for flights from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the Green Fare option is now being rolled out for flights throughout Europe and North Africa. This fare will also include a free rebooking option and earn additional loyalty miles.
Referencing an increased demand for sustainable travel options, Christina Foerster, member of the Lufthansa Group’s executive board responsible for brand and sustainability said: “The product launch is an important building block in our efforts to make air travel more climate-friendly.”
However, Anna Hughes, director of Flight Free UK said: “Schemes like this lull passengers into a false sense of security, leading them to believe their emissions have been dealt with.”
Today Flight Free UK has added another Twitter post criticising the move, by sharing an image of a “greenwash” advertising board which reads: “At Lufthansa we distract you with pictures of trees while we fry the planet.”
The term greenwashing refers to a company making an unverified claim which deceives customers into thinking something they’re purchasing may be more environmentally friendly than it actually is.
The Green Fare flights are to be offered by Lufthansa and its subsidiaries Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Edelweiss, Eurowings Discover and Air Dolomiti.
The ticket option will be available on 730,000 flights a year within Europe and to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
The Independent has contacted Lufthansa for comment.
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