France bans short-haul domestic flights

The move is an attempt by the government to cut carbon emissions

air france rep Representational image | Air France Facebook account

France has banned short-haul domestic flights where train alternatives exist, in an attempt to cut carbon emissions. Lawmakers voted two years ago, to end routes where the same journey could be made by train in less than two-and-a-half hours. 

For instance, Paris and Lyon are about 400 kilometres apart. Taking a flight would take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. The same journey, on a high-speed train, would take about 1 hour and 57 minutes. The move is one of the changes the government is making in a bid to reduce France's emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. 

Critics are calling the latest measures 'symbolic bans'. France's Citizens' Convention on Climate, which was created by President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 had proposed scrapping plane journeys where train journeys of under four hours existed, BBC reported. 

Train services on the same route should be prepared to absorb the increase in the number of passengers, increase train frequencies and ensure that they're timely and well-connected, the law states. The government had already secured Air France's compliance with the plan

French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir had earlier called on lawmakers to retain the four-hour limit, the BBC reported. Green MPs have called for a ban of small private flights altogether.


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