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Our decarbonization trajectory

At the heart of our strategy

Sustainability, which is at the heart of our strategy and our corporate governance, is no longer a choice but an absolute necessity.

Committed for 30 years

Sustainability has played an important role in Air France-KLM’s strategy for some 30 years. Our Group is thus considered a frontrunner in the airline industry. International concern about climate change is nonetheless growing. Attitudes towards the acceptability of air transportation growth are changing both at political level and in terms of wider society, while we are witnessing increasingly-extreme climate events.

New objectives

The Group has set itself new targets: we have a clear ambition for 2030, the first step in enabling us to attain our net zero emission target in 2050 and thus contribute to collective carbon neutrality.

To attain this target, the Group’s decarbonization strategy relies on three levers:

To take its commitment to a still-higher level

The Air France-KLM Group is one of the first European airline groups to choose to have its decarbonization trajectory validated by SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative), the international reference organization founded by the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Scientific validation of the decarbonization path

The SBTi is responsible for the extremely important, not to say vital, task of rolling out CO2 emission targets at global level (aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement) by sector of activity.

In 2021, SBTi thus defined an emission reduction target for the airline industry that Air France-KLM has reflected in a new ambitious target consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

A company serving the general interest

Lastly, the Group has also enshrined this sustainability transition in its corporate purpose, which was adopted by the Shareholders’ Meeting of May 24, 2022 and is now included in the Group’s Articles of Incorporation. It designates a general interest ambition that we intend to pursue:

“At the forefront of a more responsible European aviation, we unite people for the world of tomorrow.”

In a world which is constantly changing, we are committed to more sustainable, responsible and inclusive aviation, which respects men, women and the planet. With our pioneering spirit, we are determined to play our part in the transportation of our sector and thus show that a new way is possible for the aviation industry. We want to pass this unique experience of travel by aircraft on to future generations so that they can, in their turn, discover the world via a more responsible form of travel.

The quest for radical innovation

In parallel, the Air France-KLM Group is participating in research and development programs into new technologies to study all the possible options for decarbonizing air transportation.

Concrete examples

Prototype aircraft, new propulsion systems, technological advances in motorization: areas for improvement with promising results.

Innovate to reach our goals sooner

For example, since 2019, KLM has contributed to research being conducted by Delft University of Technology into an aircraft prototype, known as the “Flying V”, in which the passenger cabin, the cargo hold and the fuel tanks are integrated in the wing, The V form of the prototype makes it lighter and more aerodynamic, meaning that the aircraft would use 20% less fuel than an Airbus A350 – the most fuel-efficient option on the market. The first small-scale model of the Flying V had its maiden flight in April 2020.

The aeronautical industry is also mobilizing thanks to disruptive technologies for research and development. This is notably the case with the Airbus Maveric project, offering hydrogen-based and other electrically-assisted propulsion projects for commercial aircraft between 2035 and 2050.

Lastly RISE, the CFM consortium put together by Safran and General Electric, is aiming to attain the biggest leap forward in environmental performance ever seen in aviation with a fuel saving of more than 20% relative to the current generation of engines. The RISE open-rotor engine architecture enables more optimization opportunities over the whole flight. Amongst other features, it incorporates hybrid technologies, will be able to function with 100% sustainable aviation fuel and will be developed with a version functioning using hydrogen.

What are the results so far?



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