Flying green with SWISS

The Lufthansa Group has accumulated an extensive expertise in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technologies and their market development by participating in research programmes, pilot projects and alliances, and SWISS now being part of the group, the same applies to it also, says George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales (South Asia), Lufthansa Group.

Hazel Jain

Sustainability has been an industry buzzword for some time. What does this mean for SWISS and what are some of the ways in which the airline is implementing this?

Our’s has been a long-standing commitment to sustainability with a deep-routed desire to create lasting value for our customers, our employees and the wider society as a whole. We have not spared any effort to halve our 2019 net carbon dioxide emissions by 2023 and aim to achieve net carbon zero by 2050 through a variety of measures, including the use of SAF.

How can the travel agents and tour operators help SWISS towards this?

Our trade partners give us the reach to the end consumer and the wider public and join us in spreading our sustainability innovations. Our agents and tour operators act as consultants, advising on the sustainable packages for our customers, including flights with carbon offsets for example.

How is SWISS using a new technology called AeroSHARK towards this objective?

Back in October SWISS became the first airline in the world to deploy the innovative AeroSHARK technology on its passenger services. The transparent AeroSHARK film has been applied to aircraft’s fuselage and engine nacelles replicates the hydrodynamic skin of a shark to reduce aerodynamic drag and, as a result, lower both inflight fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The annual CO2 emission savings of this new technology is up to 15,200 tonnes.

Fleet renewal is one aspect whereby an airline can bring down its carbon footprint. Please share SWISS plans for its fleet expansion and renewal. Will any of these changes take place on the India routes?

We are in the midst of the largest fleet renewal in the history of our company (LHG) and are investing more than €2.5 billion per year for a ‘green’ fleet, which translates into a new aircraft coming in every two weeks for the next many years. As a strategic market India will be a beneficiary of these investments.

What are the airlines’ plans for the summer schedule?

From our entire Lufthansa Group offer, this summer will see the return of the 747-800 to Bengaluru, which has a strong fan following globally. But we also acknowledge the significant challenges faced by all airlines and systems partners during the 2022 summer schedule and have therefore right-sized our schedule to ensure that we can deliver what customers have come to expect from premium carriers like SWISS and Lufthansa. But stay tuned for we may have some surprises for this winter.

India overall has been for many years a booming market, continued to throughout the pandemic and remains a market with strong demand. Indians all over the world need to travel and connect and we are glad to be there from Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

What are SWISS goals towards use of SAF?

With Lufthansa Group having committed to €2.5 billion SAF purchase in next 3 years our airline group is the largest SAF customer in Europe and top three worldwide. We are committed to making flying sustainable, we make change fly!

Good to know

  • SWISS is first commercial airline to use SAF from Switzerland
  • SWISS has an innovative partnership with Synhelion
  • As of now, the following companies have publicly communicated their commitment to SAF in partnership with SWISS: Breitling, Switzerland Tourism, Finass Reisen




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