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Gaining further altitude: DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo extend their CO2-neutral air freight offer

Continuation of regular cargo flights between Germany and China • Almost 21,000 tons of emissions to be avoided during the summer schedule • “Alternative fuels help us to realize change today” • 100th biofuel covered flight coming up 

DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo have decided to continue their fossil-free freighter flights between Frankfurt (FRA) and Shanghai (PVG). The joint offer towards greener logistics will extend until at least October 2022. By utilizing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and additional upstream compensation, they will save another 21,000 tons of CO2e. Lufthansa Cargo and DB Schenker have saved 31,000 tons of CO2e since starting their cooperation end of 2020. The weekly flight rotation continues to be the world’s only regular full charter fully covered by SAF. On March 25, the partners will conduct their 100th joint greenhouse gas-neutral flight. 

Continued SAF partnership for climate protection Picture Credit: Lufthansa Cargo

Thorsten Meincke, Global Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight at  DB Schenker: “It is our unshaken mission to build a carbon-neutral future for our customers and society at large. With our long-term partner, Lufthansa Cargo, we will now continue our carbon-neutral flight offer and as well as the financial commitment. Alternative fuels help us to realize change, not just as a vision for the future but today. We would love to welcome even more customers who want to walk the talk with us.” 

Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer at Lufthansa Cargo: “We are very pleased on extending our cooperation with our global partner, DB Schenker. Together we operate completely CO2-neutral flight rotations between Asia and Europe as part of our summer flight schedule. DB Schenker has already committed to using about 7,500 tons of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in 2022, which is a remarkable contribution to decarbonizing air freight.” 

DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo piloted the concept of a fully SAF-covered intercontinental freighter rotation between Frankfurt and Shanghai in November 2020. A regular charter connection was launched in April 2021 and extended throughout the winter flight schedule. The launch year’s customers comprise a range of global brands including Siemens Healthineers, Mercedes-Benz, ZF, Merck, Nokia and Lenovo. 

Joint aircraft-branding Picture Credit: Lufthansa Cargo

SAF is produced from renewable waste and residue raw materials such as used frying oil. The CO2 released during combustion in the engine is only the CO2 removed from the atmosphere during the photosynthesis phase of the plants employed to produce the oils SAF is refined from. 

For each cargo rotation from Frankfurt to Shanghai and back, the demand of 174 tons of conventional kerosene will be covered by the purchase of SAF, which will then be fed into the refueling system at Frankfurt Airport. This corresponds to 217,500 liters of SAF per week, which DB Schenker will use during the summer flight schedule. Thus, around 520 tons of CO2e emissions will be saved each week by SAF alone. In addition, DB Schenker offsets a further 150 tons of CO2e emissions generated during the transport and processing of SAF through certified carbon offset projects. As a result, the freight flights are entirely CO2-neutral. DB Schenker and its customers can include the CO2 emissions saved by using SAF in their carbon footprint on a pro rata basis. Lufthansa Cargo and DB Schenker issue the relevant certificates accordingly.

The 100th one-way greenhouse gas-neutral freighter flight will take place on March 25, going westbound from Shanghai to Frankfurt. It will carry the flight number LH8405 and will be operated by a Boeing 777F. 

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Find out more about Air Freight Sustainability at DB Schenker.