Next year, the Swiss national airline will also start buying sustainable jet fuel made from solar energy and carbon dioxide extracted from the atmosphere. According to the airline, a strategic agreement has been signed with Synhelion, a subsidiary of ETH Zurich, which will supply sustainable kerosene to the entire Lufthansa Group, but Swiss will be the first airline in the world to operate flights with solar-powered fuel.
The technology involves a unique process that uses the sun’s heat to produce a gas that can be converted into jet fuel using conventional methods, burning only as much carbon dioxide as was used to produce it.
But to do so, a new factory will have to be built, and Synhelion is taking it upon itself to build the world’s first such plant in Germany this year, with Swiss expected to receive its first delivery in 2023. At the same time, there are already plans to build another unit in Spain.
In its statement, Swiss recalled that more is being done to achieve net carbon neutrality with all players in the aviation sector by 2050 at the latest. However, it warned that, given the scarcity of alternative kerosene sources, they need to have as many options as possible to meet their environmental targets.