SHANGHAI - Air freight can now be transported with zero carbon dioxide tailpipe emissions: DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo launched the first regular carbon neutral cargo flight connection in history. With the arrival of a Boeing 777F at 02:00 am local time today, the companies finished the first leg of their first weekly flight between Frankfurt am Main and Shanghai Pudong, where the fuel requirements are covered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).This will save around 174 metric tons of conventional kerosene each week.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel is produced mainly from biomass waste, such as used vegetable and cooking oils. Thus, when burned in the engine, the same amount of carbon dioxide is released which was previously removed from the atmosphere during the original growth of the plants.
In addition, greenhouse gases produced during the manufacture and transport of the fuel are fully offset by sustainable compensation projects. This ensures that flights are completely greenhouse gas neutral.
The weekly volume of SAF procured by DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo corresponds to 174 metric tons of kerosene, which is about the amount needed for the connection to Shanghai and back. However, for technical and legal reasons, it is currently not possible to fuel an aircraft with SAF only. Therefore, the SAF is blended with conventional kerosene via the airport's refuelling system and consumed proportionally by all subsequently refuelled aircraft.
In total, greenhouse gas neutrality of 20,250 metric tons will be ensured during Lufthansa Cargo's summer flight schedule. Of this, around 16,200 metric tons will be avoided from direct combustion in the engine. The participating customers, including Mercedes-Benz, ZF and Merck, can credit their reduced carbon footprint on a pro rata basis.
Currently, SAF is about three times more expensive than fossil kerosene and the quantity available on the market is limited. With the launch of the sustainable freight flight connection, DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo are reiterating their call to other companies in the logistics industry as well as politicians to jointly expand production and infrastructure for Sustainable Aviation Fuel and thus drive forward decarbonization in logistics.