If you are travelling to France this summer or are already in the country, then be prepared to use a train from Paris to other cities. To reduce carbon emissions, France has banned short-haul domestic flights between regional hubs that can be easily reached by train.
Justifying the air travel ban on some domestic routes, France’s transportation minister, Clement Beaune said, “As we fight relentlessly to decarbonise our lifestyles, how can we justify the use of the plane between the big cities which benefit from regular, fast, and efficient connections by train,” shared in a statement in a report by Business Insider.
More details on the domestic flights ban
Although the measures have been in place as a part of France’s 2021 Climate Act, they came into force only on May 23, officially scrapping the flights between cities connected by a two-and-a-half-hour train journey.
As per the law, certain criteria must be met for a flight to be discontinued on a route. A high-speed rail connection must exist between the two cities, and it has to be direct and affordable.
Moreover, the train has to be frequent enough for a traveller to take a round trip on the same day and spend eight hours in the city.
France has a strong and high-speed rail network, where the national railways is in the process of restarting its TGV trains, the country’s intercity high-speed rail service. It is also looking to extend the network.
Affected routes in France
Though the ban affects some direct domestic flights, the scope of the ban is limited. Originally, eight routes were supposed to come under the ban, however, this number was reduced after the intervention of the European Commission. Also, connecting flights will continue to operate on the routes currently affected by the ban.
Presently the ban is on routes between Paris’ Orly Airport and the cities of Bordeaux, Nantes, and Lyon, which are prohibited for any carrier. Other routes might be affected in the future as rail connection improves.
Calling the ban symbolic, Laurent Donceel, the interim head, Airlines for Europe, told AFP news agency that “banning these trips will only have minimal effects” on carbon emissions.
(Hero and feature image credit: Pixabay)
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