Shell and Lufthansa agree on SAF collaboration

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Lufthansa Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shell to explore a supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at airports around the world. The agreement could see the SAF supply reach up to 594 million gallons in total from 2024 until 2030. The agreement could mark one of the most significant collaborations for SAF in the aviation sector and Shell’s largest SAF commitment to date.

The potential SAF to be supplied by Shell will be produced by up to four different approved technology pathways and a broad range of sustainable feedstocks.

Jan Toschka, President Shell Aviation, commented: “It is encouraging to see large flagship carriers coming to us to discuss SAF supply deals, knowing there will be a lot of things to be defined and determined at a later stage, including established price markers. SAF is the most significant way to decarbonise aviation over the decades to come. Our relationship goes beyond commercial arrangements – it is strategic and aligned regarding the view that SAF holds the key to achieving a sustainable aviation future. The potential SAF purchase agreement contemplated under the MoU, by its anticipated volume size, term period and geographic scope, is expected to be a milestone if concluded and shows the way forward for decarbonisation in the aviation industry.”

Katja Kleffman, Head of Fuel Management Supply Lufthansa Group added: “As an industry we have to work jointly towards making flying more sustainable and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Shell is very experienced with the global handling of Jet fuel and that is one key element for our trust for smooth operations of SAF, too.”

The agreement is part of Shell’s ambition to have at least 10% of its global aviation fuel sales as SAF by 2030 and on the Lufthansa Group’s ambition to drive the availability, the market ramp-up and the use of SAF as a core element of its sustainability strategy.


Liverpool welcomes Frankfurt link for first time in 10 years

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Lufthansa’s has introduced a new service from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) in the UK to Frankfurt Airport in Germany.

Lufthansa flight LH968 touched down at LJLA shortly after 8am on Wednesday 4 May, where is was welcomed with a water arch performed by the airport’s Rescue and Firefighting team. A ribbon cutting ceremony was also conducted at the aircraft steps ahead of its departure to Frankfurt.

Marking the return of global connectivity for the Airport and the City region for the first time in more than 10 years, the service marks an important addition to the airport’s list of destinations, with passengers now able to check-in at Liverpol and easily connect with Lufthansa’s global network and its Star Alliance partners via the German carrier’s main hub in Frankfurt. It has been welcomed by members of the region’s business communities, as well as leisure travellers, many of whom have worked closely with the airport to help attract Lufthansa to Liverpool.

“We are delighted to see this important and strategic new route come to fruition, with Lufthansa welcomed here today by representatives of the business community and visitor economy from across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and North Wales,” said LJLA’s CEO, John Irving.

Lufthansa’s Heinrich Lange added, “The new connection to the heart of Europe has found its first travellers from Liverpool as we can already see good booking figures.

“We want to convince our customers from North-Western England and Wales about an easy transfer at our Frankfurt hub. Every passenger stays in the same terminal building for their connecting flight. We offer quality and service as a Five-Star-Carrier in the air and on the ground. And we are pleased that Liverpudlians can now start their journey with us from even closer to their home or office. This city known for music, football and trade will also benefit from the global access we provide as the only network airline at John Lennon Airport.”

Goldhofer’s PHOENIX E proves a hit at Frankfurt Airport

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Since making its debut with Lufthansa LEOS at Frankfurt Airport last December, the PHOENIX E towbarless aircraft tractor has proven itself to be an efficient piece of kit that has exceeded expectations. The towbarless tractor is also in line with LEOS’ strategy for sustainable, zero-emission ground operations.

“Not only the drivers but also the mechanics in the hangar for example are excited about this vehicle,” said Peter Unger, CEO of Lufthansa LEOS. Referencing how the first three months of ground handling with Lufthansa LEOS have generated a mass of operational data with initial conclusions already drawing on the suitability of the Goldhofer electric tractor for everyday use, he added: “The results to date indicate savings in excess of what we had expected and planned.”

The flagship model of Goldhofer’s towbarless aircraft tractors, the PHOENIX E offers speeds of up to 25km/h for maintenance towing. It also has the versatility to handle the full range of today’s aircraft up to a maximum take-off weight (MOW) of 352 tonnes (for example a Boeing B777/ Airbus A350) – ie approximately 80% of all aircraft movements at the airport.

With its PHOENIX E model, Goldfer has succeeded in developing a battery-powered version that delivers the same performance as the equivalent diesel model. The zero-emission, sustainable-operation tow tractor boasts the same range of performance in terms of tractive power, maneuverability and reliability as the diesel version, and offers additional advantages such as lower operating costs and longer maintenance cycles. With its modular battery concept, the PHOENIX E has a battery capacity of 66-165kWh depending on operational requirements. A hybrid solution with a range extender powertrain is also available.

Thanks to its IonMaster technology – a highly efficient and powerful electric drive concept with 700 V lithium-ion batteries – the PHOENIX E works up to 10 hours a day and handles up to 20 tows without any loss of power. In addition the Thermal Management System (TMS), which is part of the IonMaster concept, maintains a constant battery temperature between +15 and +40°C for an up to 25% greater range and longer battery life. Meanwhile, the dedicated charging infrastructure allows for fast charging so that vehicles can complete their long working days without any loss of power.

Unger concluded: “The data available shows that we can perform more tows than assumed in the simulations. Our expectations have been exceeded by far and we are planning to acquire another PHOENIX E at the end of the year.”

All-electric aircraft tug helps Munich Airport advance decarbonisation goals

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Aircraft at Munich Airport in Germany are now being towed using electric pushback tugs equipped with the latest 700V lithium-ion battery technology.

The resource-saving handling equipment can effortlessly tow passenger aircraft up to a take-off weight of 352 tonnes – which includes wide-bodied aircraft.

Named after the mythical bird, the “PHOENIX” E can achieve speeds of up to 32km per hour with consistently high tractive power. And through short intermediate charging, the completely emission-free all-electric pushback tug allows reliable round-the-clock operations.

If the loading capacity is ever insufficient, “PHOENIX” E is also equipped with a range extender that enables operation with diesel in exceptional cases. Compared to conventional diesel tractors, the maintenance effort is significantly lower.

With the deployment of the all-electric aircraft pushback tug, EFM – a joint subsidiary of Munich Airport and Lufthansa – is contributing to the German gateway’s climate protection goals, which are for the airport to be operated in a completely carbon-neutral manner by 2030 at the latest.

To achieve this goal, Munich Airport is implementing a wealth of technological innovations in all areas and has massively expanded not only the proportion of electric vehicles in its fleet, but also the charging infrastructure