France officially bans some short-haul flights so trains can be used | World News

Routes between Paris, Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux have been affected by the new ban (Picture: EPA)

France has become the first country to ban short-haul, internal flights to places where people could use the railways instead.

Lawmakers voted to scrap routes where a train can get passengers to their destination in under two and a half hours in 2021.

But some airlines asked the European Commission to review whether the decision was legal, and it has only now come into force.

The new rule will axe routes between Paris, Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux but connecting flights using these airports will not be affected.

The law specifies that train services serving the same route must be frequent, timely and well-connected enough to meet the needs of people who would otherwise travel by air.

Critics have called the enforcement of the ban merely ‘symbolic’, especially as these routes have not been served by any airlines since 2020, when the pandemic devastated the travel industry.

However, more journeys could be included in the future, with the EU having stipulated that the law should reviewed after three years.

A group created by president Emmanuel Macron originally put forward a harsher ban (Picture: Shutterstock)

The interim head of industry group Airlines for Europe, Laurent Donceel, told AFP governments should rather support ‘real and significant solutions’ to combat the effect of carbon emissions.

He added that Brussels found ‘banning these trips will only have minimal effects’ on CO2 output.

And yet, some environmentalists feel the measures do not go far enough, including France’s Citizens’ Convention on Climate.

The group, which was created by French president Emmanuel Macron in 2019, had originally called for the government to scrap plane routes where train journeys under four hours existed.

But this limit was reduced to the current one of two and a half hours, after objections from some of the regions affected and at least one airline.

French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir, who backed the four-hour plan, said: ‘On average, the plane emits 77 times more CO2 per passenger than the train on these routes, even though the train is cheaper and the time lost is limited to 40 minutes.’

Conversely, the UK government seems to be moving in the opposite direction – halving domestic air duty (APD) to £6.50 from April 1.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5

When the then-chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the change in October 2021, he said: ‘Right now, people pay more for return flights within and between the four nations of the United Kingdom than they do when flying home from abroad.’

Short haul flights are seen as one of the worst offenders for CO2 because take-off and landing uses the most fuel.

But Mr Sunak previously argued that most emissions come from international, rather than domestic trips.

French politicians are also currently debating how to reduce emissions from private jets.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source link

Read Previous

Aston Villa set for double contract boost as Unai Emery ambition laid bare

Read Next

'Much bigger' – Gabby Agbonlahor fires double Aston Villa transfer swipe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!