KLM introduces SAF surcharge for flights departing from Amsterdam


KLM has started adding 0.5 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for flights departing from Amsterdam. The surcharge, which came into effect on Monday, will vary from €1 to €12 per ticket, depending on the distance flown and the seat booked – economy or business class, it said in an official statement.

In addition, KLM will offer its customers the option of purchasing an extra amount of sustainable fuel from January 13 onwards, a move it expects will stimulate the market for SAF.

“We realize that the 0.5 per cent standard admixture on passenger tickets is a very small step, but an important one in the right direction and we hope other airlines will follow soon,” the statement by KLM said.

Sustainable aviation fuel or SAF is chiefly made from used cooking oil or from forestry or agricultural waste. It allows airlines to reduce carbon emissions by 75 per cent compared with kerosene over the lifecycle of the fuel. Jet fuel currently accounts for between 30 and 40 per cent of airlines’ costs.

The CO2 emissions of SAF that KLM currently purchases are at least 75 per cent lower than those of fossil kerosene. The costs for the sustainable fuel variant are at least four times and production is lagging behind.

By increasing demand, KLM hopes to further develop the market for SAF so that supply is scaled up and sustainable fuel ultimately becomes cheaper.

France has compulsorily introduced SAF admixture percentage January onwards.

Within Europe, there is a proposal to achieve a compulsory SAF proportion of 2 per cent by 2025 for all flights within and from Europe. KLM and its partners in the Clean Skies for Tomorrow coalition have previously announced to achieve a worldwide SAF proportion of 10 per cent in 2030, the airline said.

In 2011, KLM conducted the world’s first commercial flight on blended biofuel and in February 2021 it operated a commercial flight with an admixture of sustainable synthetic fuel.

For SAF, the carrier focuses on all technologies side by side – based on used cooking oil, forestry residues and sustainable synthetic fuel. The airlines, said, it was currently purchasing “relatively large volumes of SAF” and has signed various purchase agreements with suppliers.

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