Spain’s Ban of Short-Haul Flights Could Impact Travelers

by SharonKurheg

Following in the footsteps of France, the Spanish government is planning to ban some short-haul flights as part of its plan to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

Flights that have an alternative of rail service that takes less than 2.5 hours will no longer be an option, “except in cases of connection with hub airports that link with international routes.” The plan was originally going to include short-haul flights with alternatives that included rail service of less than 4 hours, but eventually decreased to 2.5 hours.

The restriction is part of an agreement made in Congress by Spain’s ruling parties of PSOE and Sumar. The text agreed by the two political parties – PSOE and Sumar – also seeks to analyze the potential impact of restricting private jet use.

“The train will be the means of transport of the 21st century,” said Sumar leader Yolanda Díaz, who insists that short-haul flights “must end.”

The country has been considering a ban since 2021 as part of its 2050 climate action plan.

a large window with a plane flying in the sky

PC: BAR (cropped)

Opposition parties are against the ban, suggesting it will make the country “less competitive.” Guillermo Marsical, the representative of the conservative and Christian-democratic political party called the People’s Party (PP), also doesn’t believe such a ban will be particularly effective and would only result in a 0.06 decrease in emissions, as per data from the College of Aircraft Engineers.

Specific measures and routes haven’t been approved yet, although flights from cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Seville and Madrid are under the strongest review. Most of these routes are currently operated by Iberia, Vueling and Air Europa.

The ban will need to go through several more stages of amendments before it can be voted into law by Spain’s Senate.

Feature Image: MAD

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1 comment

Christian February 27, 2024 - 5:12 pm

Interesting. Just my two cents here but I suspect that Spain does not have the infrastructure in place to efficiently implement this. Perhaps making sure that the top airports in the country are directly connected to a high speed rail network before passing this law would be a prudent measure.


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