Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Planes need energy to fly. In aviation, we use a fossil fuel: kerosene. But when we burn kerosene, it produces carbon dioxide (a gas also known as CO₂). Too much CO₂ in the air prevents heat from escaping into space, called the greenhouse effect. To reduce global warming and avoid further climate change, we need to reduce our CO₂ emissions. One way to do that is by using a different type of fuel.

What is SAF?

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is made from more sustainable resources. Like waste oils of organic origins (such as used cooking oil) or forestry and agricultural waste. Or even from carbon captured from the air and green hydrogen. This means the sustainable aviation fuel KLM uses:

  • Is a renewable feedstock
  • Can avoid at least 75% of the total lifecycle CO2 emissions compared to fossil jet fuel
  • Reduces other harmful emissions like particulates and sulfur

What type of fuel does KLM use?

In 2011 we carried out the world’s first commercial flight partly powered by sustainable aviation fuel made from used cooking oil. KLM only buys SAF produced from raw materials that have as less negative impact on biodiversity and/or food production as possible. For example: we don’t use soy and palm oil as these sources can be responsible for high deforestation rates.

All our sustainable fuel meets the criteria issued by:

A bit of SAF for every flight from Amsterdam

In 2022 we started adding 0.5 % SAF to the fuel system at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for every flight departing from Amsterdam. That is why we’ve added a few euros to our ticket prices, based on the distance of each flight. Although 0.5% might seem very little, it is an important step in the right direction. We will have to work with all parties around us and come up with rock-solid solutions and innovations to speed up the use and production of SAF.

In 2011, KLM carried out the world’s first commercial flight partly powered by fuel made from used cooking oil.

Why not use 100% SAF?

Unfortunately, sustainable aviation fuel is not yet available on a large scale. This means that SAF is at least 2 to 3 times more expensive. Today, just a very small part of the millions of tons of kerosene used by commercial airlines is SAF. To significantly impact aviation’s overall carbon emissions, the contribution of our passengers helps.

Your eco-footprint

When you book a flight at KLM, we offer the option to buy extra SAF. The price for your contribution is calculated based on several factors that influence the amount of CO₂ emissions of your flight, like the type of aircraft, distance, and historical load factor.

With your contribution to SAF, you help to reduce air travel dependency on regular fossil fuels. By 2022, we purchase 0.5% sustainable aviation fuel for all flights departing from Amsterdam. It’s a start, but with your help, we can do more.

SAF prices per destination

Add SAF to your booking

During your booking, on the same page where you choose your seat or add baggage, you can add CO₂ compensation (by contributing to reforestation) or sustainable aviation fuel to your booking. Or a bit of both! You can also do that later in My Trip.

What do we do with your contribution to SAF?

With your contribution, we buy extra SAF that we add to the fuel system at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (or one of the other airports where we add SAF). Your flight will not directly include your extra SAF contribution because it is logistically inefficient and complicated to arrange.

Because we add SAF to the airport fuel system, also other flights depart with more SAF on board and therefore have lower emissions. But they can't claim CO₂ reduction because they didn't pay for it. KLM is audited annually to ensure that the claimed CO₂ reduction corresponds to the SAF certificates we have received.

Your extra SAF contribution is 100% used to buy more SAF. KLM does not make a profit on this.

Want to do more?

Small things, like travelling light or bringing your own water bottle or earbuds. Or bigger things, like buying sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). We also offer our passengers the option to help compensate for part of the estimated CO₂ emissions of their flight by contributing to our selected reforestation projects.

More about reforestation

Frequently asked questions