Lufthansa Group, which controls German airline Lufthansa as well as a number of other carriers in Europe, introduced a new fare class Wednesday that includes carbon offsets in the price.
The “green fares” are available on flights throughout Europe and parts of northern Africa, and come with additional benefits for travelers as well.
“People don’t just want to fly and discover the world – they also want to protect it at the same time,” Christina Foerster, a member of the Lufthansa Group’s executive board responsible for brand and sustainability, said in a statement. “The product launch is an important building block in our efforts to make air travel more climate-friendly.”
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According to Lufthansa, green fares achieve their eco-friendly status by subsidizing the airline’s purchase of more expensive sustainable aviation fuel and by funding what it calls “high-quality climate protection projects.”
What makes Lufthansa’s green fares sustainable?
The new fares help the airline reduce its carbon footprint. According to Lufthansa, 20% of the cost of a green fare goes towards sustainable aviation fuel and the remaining 80% goes toward carbon offsetting projects.
Carbon offsets have been criticized by some environmental advocates for under-delivering on their ecological impact, but the airline says the projects it backs are carefully vetted.
What’s included in Lufthansa’s new fares?
In addition to built-in carbon offsets, the new fares include increased flexibility and other perks.
In economy, passengers who purchase a green fare can select a seat in advance and get a checked bag included. In both business class and economy, green fares can be rebooked without paying a change fee.
“The green fares were already successfully tested last year for flights from Denmark, Sweden and Norway. This showed that the demand for more sustainable travel offers is increasing. Now we are consistently taking the next logical step and are adding green fares to our well-known fare structure for flights throughout Europe and North Africa,” Harry Hohmeister, a member of the Lufthansa Group’s executive board responsible for global markets and network said in a statement. “We are making it even easier for our customers to book more sustainable offers.”
The fares are currently sold on Lufthansa Group flights throughout Europe, as well as to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
How much do Lufthansa’s green fares cost?
The new fare class, which is available on Lufthansa as well as Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, Edelweiss, Eurowings Discover and Air Dolomiti, are available in both business and economy classes and are incrementally more expensive than the base fares in either cabin.
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For example, on a Lufthansa flight between Frankfurt, Germany and Oslo, Norway departing March 7 and returning March 9, the base economy fare is 225.47 euros ($240.74), while the green economy fare is 280.47 euros ($299.46). On the same itinerary, a business class ticket costs 295.47 euros ($315.48), compared to 355.47 euros ($379.36) for a green business fare.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New ‘green fares’ from Lufthansa aim to make sustainability easier