As per the latest development, France has passed a law banning some domestic flights to encourage travellers to take the train instead. Under the new law, flights that can be replaced by a train journey of under two-and-a-half hours should be scrapped.
The ban on short-hop flights has already come into effect. France’s national airline has also gone ahead and cancelled three routes that were deemed too high on carbon emissions. All three went from Paris’ second airport, Orly, serving Bordeaux, Lyon and Nantes. If reports are to go by, these cities are all on the country’s extensive high-speed rail network, which also means that taking a train will be far faster than flying there.
There is no doubt that France has a robust and expanding high-speed rail network, with the French National Railways in the process of rebooting its TGV trains and extending its network.
Reports also add that the original proposal was supposed to affect eight routes, however, the European Commission later rules that trips between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Rennes; Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Lyon; Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Nantes; Paris-Charles de Gaulle, and Bordeaux; and Lyon and Marseille are not short or frequent enough to qualify yet.
Critics, however, share a different view on this ban and say that it will have a negligible effect on carbon emissions. Laurent Donceel, who is the interim head of industry group Airlines for Europe, which represents several airlines including Air France, KLM, Lufthansa and Ryanair, dismissed the law as a ‘symbolic ban.’ He insisted that the need of the hour is to support ‘real and significant solutions’ to airline emissions.
Trending on TFN