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25 Sep 2023

AFP (published on Barron's)

Austria: Court rules Austrian Airlines' carbon neutral flight advertisements were misleading

"Austrian Airlines Green Flight Claims Misled: Court", 25 Sept 2023

An Austrian court upheld a complaint against Austrian Airlines over misleading climate-related claims, a consumer rights group said Monday, after an advertising campaign it described as "greenwashing".

Austria's Association for Consumer Information (VKI) filed the complaint against Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines a year ago over a campaign that advertised flights between Vienna and Venice as carbon neutral, using sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

The consumer rights group argued it was technically impossible to have carbon neutral flights.

A regional court in Korneuburg, just outside Vienna, agreed with the claim that the airlines gave an "incorrect impression".

In its ruling the court said the flights were "actually operated entirely with kerosene or using kerosene, to which sustainable aviation fuel is only added".

The ruling was made in June but Austrian Airlines posted the verdict on its social media channels on Monday, as ordered by the court.

"Austrian Airlines takes the ruling into account in current and future advertising statements," the airline said in a statement emailed to AFP, adding it should have "communicated more clearly" on its use of sustainable aviation fuels...

Austrian Airlines is also among 17 European airlines hit by a consumer complaint filed with the European Commission which accuses them of misleading climate claims...