Tomorrowland and its official aviation partner, Brussels Airlines, have announced that more sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will be used on the flights taking festivalgoers to Belgium this year.
The festival and Brussels Airlines have special packages and routes to bring people from all around the world to Belgium for what has sometimes been called the best music festival in the world. However, last year, a study found that, in a conservative estimate, the festival is responsible for the emission of almost 150,000 tonnes of CO2, mostly coming precisely from everybody flying to the festival grounds.
In an attempt to reduce the festival’s overall carbon footprint, Tomorrowland and Brussels Airlines will include more SAF on their flights this year. Lufthansa Group’s Green Fares, which were recently also launched on flights beyond Europe, will be used for the Global Journey Packages. With the green fares, passengers can purchase 20% SAF for the flight and offset the remaining 80% by contributing to “high-quality, Belgian and local climate compensation projects”.
“Embarking on a journey towards a better world tomorrow begins with the steps we take today. (…) we are working collaboratively to amplify the power of collective action and create positive change for all, that starts with us. The People of Tomorrow can contribute to sustainability projects and at the same time reduce the environmental impact of their flights”, said Tomorrowland’s Head of Media Relations & Internal Communication, Debby Wilmsen.
For the party flights packages, in addition to the Green Fare, Brussels Airlines and Tomorrowland contribute to the other 80% SAF, resulting in 100% SAF for these flights. However, commercial aircraft is currently only authorised to use a rather small percentage of SAF, the only commercial flight to use 100% SAF was Virgin’s recent transatlantic flight, which had to receive several special permits for the world-first.
So the party flights will still actually fly on kerosene, but the equivalent SAF will subsequently be used throughout the Lufthansa Group. “For every litre of kerosene required, we will buy the equivalent in SAF. The SAF will be distributed within Lufthansa Group”, Brussels Airlines explained.
“It’s not a silver bullet, but it’s the best interim solution to make aviation more sustainable for now. There is a lot of debate about greenwashing, but this is an important and necessary step towards greener flying”, aviation expert Wouter Dewulf of the University of Antwerp told Belga news agency.