European logistics giants promote Sustainable Aviation Fuel for air freight

2022/04/18 at 2:53 PM

Two leading European logistics providers, Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel, have launched a joint campaign, which is aimed at promoting Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in the air freight sector. Moreover, both companies support the world’s first production site for synthetic crude oil in Germany.

Last week Lufthansa Cargo unveiled its Boeing 777 freighter with a new livery. The aircraft received the inscription “Flying into the Future CO2-neutral” and the addition “Power-to-Liquid Sustainable Aviation Fuel”. In such a manner, Lufthansa Cargo, a European major freight airline, and Kuehne+Nagel, a major logistics service provider, have initiated a joint campaign to promote the forward-looking power-to-liquid technology in order to advance the decarbonisation of air freight. The Boeing 777 freighter with the registration D-ALFK performed its first flight on Thursday, 14 April, from Frankfurt, Germany, to Seoul, South Korea.

Boeing 777 freighter promotes Sustainable Aviation Fuel, source: Lufthansa Cargo

“We are very pleased to now also visibly express our joint commitment and to publicise it with the help of the global deployment of our freighter. A successful and sustainable transformation of airfreight can only succeed if we join forces with strong partners – which is why we are very proud to have Kuehne+Nagel at our side as a supporter of this forward-looking technology,” said Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO at Lufthansa Cargo.

Shift to synthetic fuel

Both companies regard the initiative as a part of reducing the carbon footprint of the air freight sector by shifting to synthetic fuel. “We are already seeing a great deal of interest from our customers who want to avoid the carbon emissions of their shipments worldwide and the synthetic SAF project with Lufthansa Cargo is of utmost importance for our joint mission of CO2-neutral aviation,” added Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel, who is responsible for Air Logistics.

Furthermore, the logistics service providers have jointly committed to supporting the world’s first production site for synthetic crude oil in Werlte/Emsland in Germany by purchasing the equivalent of 20 tonnes, or 25,000 litres, annually. The synthetic fuel based on this is considered the fuel of the future, which is expected to further reduce the carbon footprint of aircraft engines in the future. The production site in Werlte is operated by the Bonn-based NGO atmosphere. The first quantities of crude oil are to be produced this year and used as synthetic fuel in aviation.


Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) are an essential pillar on the way to CO2-neutral flying. These fuels can be produced in various ways. To date, Lufthansa Cargo and K├╝hne+Nagel have used Sustainable Aviation Fuels of biogenic origin, i.e. synthetic kerosene based on used cooking oils, for example. In the case of synthetic kerosene, which is also known as power-to-liquid fuel, on the other hand, the synthetic crude oil is produced from regeneratively generated electricity, water and CO2. Because of this process, PTL-based aviation fuel is considered CO2-neutral. The power-based fuels are currently still in the development stage towards industrial production, but are already considered a long-term alternative to conventional kerosene or biogenic SAF, as they are theoretically to be produced without availability limits.

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