A strong believer in achieving positive change through sustainability, SAS set itself a variety of ambitious short and long-term goals, one of which was to ensure that all of its domestic flights in Scandinavia are powered by biofuel by 2030. It’s safe to say the airline has worked hard for sustainability, as it now offers a punch card known as the Biofuel Travel Pass for all of its corporate customers.
With the Biofuel Travel Pass, corporate customers who regularly travel to the same destination with SAS can obtain a discounted prepaid punch card in which 100% biofuel will always be included, to make the flight fossil fuel free. Vice President of Global Sales at SAS, Markus Ek, says:
“SAS has ambitious sustainability goals and is committed to increasing the use of sustainable aviation fuels, such as biofuels, in our operations to reduce the climate impact of air travel. We now welcome our customers on board the journey to a more sustainable aviation by enabling the purchase of a Biofuel Travel Pass. This is perfect for customers who want to make their flight more sustainable.”
The Biofuel Travel Pass is also a discounted alternative when traveling regularly to a single destination. Photo: SAS
The old biofuel regime
Prior to the Travel Pass Biofuel, SAS had previously created a model to purchase 20-minute blocks of biofuel per flight. In this model, prices are set at USD 10/EUR 10/SEK 100/NOK 100/DKK 70 per block of biofuel.
The amount paid by the passenger goes directly to purchase more biofuel for the airline’s flight operations, and passengers can choose to purchase biofuel at any time, on any flight. Additionally, EuroBonus members will receive an additional 500 points per 20-minute block of biofuel added to the flight booking.
For comparison on a 60 minute flight, a 20 minute block of biofuel will be one third of the average fuel consumption per passenger of an average flight and this would require a passenger to purchase three blocks to cover the flight time complete .
All SAS aircraft are certified to be able to mix 50/50 fossil and biofuel. Photo: SAS
Inside the new regime
However, this model had a downside because the amount of biofuel a passenger purchases will not necessarily translate to use on the actual flight the traveler purchased a ticket for, as it would only have been used to replace fuel. fossil fuel by the equivalent amount in the airline’s flight operations as soon as possible.
With the introduction of the Travel Pass Biofuel, the prepaid ticket model allows SAS corporate customers to avoid paying additional costs for the use of biofuel. This is because the punch card will actually match the total fuel burn of flights to enable the use of 100% biofuel and is also a low cost alternative when you often travel to a single destination.
In addition, the punch card also applies to the prepaid Travel Pass ranging from 20, 40, 60, 100 and 200 punches – all valid within one year from the date of purchase – certainly an upgraded model to both for Scandinavia’s leading airline and its passengers.
SAS’ environmental and sustainability target for 2030 is to use 17% biofuel. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | single flight
As an authoritative example of sustainable aviation fuels, biofuel would significantly reduce life-cycle climate-impacting CO2 emissions by up to 80%, acting as a bridge to airlines’ targets for zero-emission aviation. The type of biofuel used by SAS is known as Hydrotreated Fatty Acid Esters (HEFA) biofuel, which is essentially a renewable diesel fuel that can be produced from a wide range of oils and vegetable fats.
According to SAS, the airline only uses certified biofuel made from sources that do not affect the general availability of crops used for food production, access to clean water, biodiversity or the use of lands. The biofuel is delivered to the airline at its main hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, and even at suitable airports located within close enough distance of the production plant.
And although biofuel is much more expensive than traditional fossil fuels, SAS makes no profit from passenger contributions as these contributions are simply added to the amount of biofuel the airline has already committed to purchase. This is the airline’s way of moving faster with its passengers, towards greater sustainability and being a leader in sustainable aviation.
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