France Banning Short Haul Flights, Effective April 1st

by SharonKurheg

This news has been a long time in the making and nope, it’s not an April Fools joke.

Just about a year ago, France’s lawmakers had voted to put a moratorium on all domestic routes that could be done by train in 2.5 hours. The reasoning for this was to lower carbon emissions that planes spew out (France has a goal to lower carbon emissions by 40% by 2030).

The law will go into effect on April 1, 2022.

Flights that are longer, such as Paris to Toulouse, and Paris to Nice, will continue to operate, since they take longer than 180 minutes by train (those two take 4 hours and 6 hours, respectively). Relatively short flights that go to nearby international locations, such as London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, will also not be affected, since the ban will only affect domestic flights.

But here’s the kicker…some flights, such as Paris Charles de Gaulle to Lyon will see one EXTRA Air France flight per day because the government still wants to keep its legacy carrier competitive on international services that connect to Lyon via the Paris hub, rather than have passengers fly via, for example, London or Amsterdam. That kind of defeats the purpose of banning flights, doesn’t it?

“Exceptions [to the ban] will be made for cities that provide connections to international flights,” said Anne-Laure Tuncer, spokesperson for France’s tourism agency.

Indeed. From SimplyFlying:

Had [the ban] been universally applicable, it would have single-handedly cut 12% of French domestic air traffic. However, with the exceptions in the name of competitiveness, how effective the ‘ban’ will actually be and just how much CO2 will be saved in the process is still far from certain.

Kind of makes you wonder what the goal actually is, y’know?

Anyway, other countries in the EU are doing their part to say they’re decreasing emissions, as well:

  • Sweden also announced plans to become the first to charge a take-off and take-off fee for older and less fuel-efficient aircraft (Germany and the Scandinavian countries have similar plans in the works).
  • Germany has doubled taxes on short-haul flights and is considering domestic short-haul flight bans of its own.
  • Austrian Airlines has eliminated its 50 minutes flights from Vienna to Salzburg (the 156-mile route by train takes 2.25 hours).

Featurerphoto: Max Pixel

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