Lufthansa has announced that it will introduce an environmental surcharge of up to €72 on its tickets. This change, effective from Jan. 1, 2025, affects all flights departing from European Union countries, Britain, Norway, and Switzerland. 

The airline group states that this fee is in response to new EU regulations that demand the use of more sustainable jet fuels, which are pricier than traditional fuels.

Lufthansa Adds Up to €72 Eco Fee to Airfares Amid EU Rules

(Photo : Dennis Gecaj on Unsplash)

Lufthansa Fee Adjusts to New EU Rules 

The surcharge will vary, costing between €1 and €72, depending on the ticket class and flight length. 

As per Reuters, for short and medium-haul flights, the added cost will be up to €5 for economy tickets and €7 for business class. For long-haul journeys, the surcharge will range from €18 to €36 for business class and up to €72 for first class.

Lufthansa's decision comes as the aviation sector grapples with the challenge of reducing its carbon footprint. 

Currently, aviation contributes about 2% of global emissions. 

According to the report, the EU has set ambitious goals for airlines, requiring 2% of all aviation fuel at EU airports to be sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2025, with this percentage increasing in the following years.

The airline industry has been vocal about the financial pressures these environmental regulations are likely to impose. 

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr previously indicated that these costs would eventually be passed on to customers. This new fee, termed the "Environmental Cost Surcharge," aims to cover part of the expenses related to these regulatory requirements.

Other airlines, such as Air France-KLM, have already implemented similar charges. Analysts expect that more carriers will follow suit as they strive to meet regulatory demands without bearing the entire financial burden. 

Lufthansa's move highlights the ongoing shifts within the airline industry as it adapts to stricter environmental standards while still striving to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Launches New Airline Amid Disputes

Lufthansa's latest venture, City Airlines, is set to launch its first flight from Munich to Birmingham at 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday. Despite the upcoming inaugural flight, the new airline has not yet secured collective agreements with its pilots and flight attendants. 

This lack of agreement raises concerns about the working conditions and transfer of staff from Lufthansa Cityline, which is expected to shut down and be replaced by City Airlines.

As per Yahoo! Finance, both the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) and the flight attendants' union UFO have confirmed that no agreements have been reached, leaving the future of employee transfers uncertain. 

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr has cited restrictive terms in the existing agreements with Cityline as a primary reason for creating the new airline.

City Airlines has attempted to attract staff with a bonus equivalent to one year's salary for those willing to move voluntarily. 

However, UFO has advised against accepting this offer, pointing out that the terms, including pay and working hours, fall short of those negotiated at Cityline.

Lufthansa plans to expand City Airlines quickly, aiming to add five aircraft to its fleet for short and medium-haul routes by the end of the year and at least eight more jets after that. 

Frankfurt is set to become a second base next year, with an additional 40 aircraft scheduled for delivery post-2026. All bookings for City Airlines must be made through Lufthansa, similar to its predecessor Cityline.

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