France bans short-range domestic flights

The rule applies to air routes where a train or bus alternative of less than 2.5 hours exists.

By Staff Writers, December 5 2022
France bans short-range domestic flights

Next time you visit France, you could be forced to take the train or bus on certain journeys, with the country’s ban on flights under 2.5 hours – initially proposed in April – receiving the go-ahead from the European Commission in recent days.

Initially applying to flights from Paris Orly to Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon, the ban may be expanded to include other routes after three years, if the concept proves successful.

It’s expected up to 12% of the country’s domestic routes will be culled under the ban, devised in 2021 as part of the French government’s €4 billion rescue package for Air France after it reported staggering losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan initially proposed banning trips of four hours by air, however this was reduced after objections from Air France-KLM and representatives of affected regions.

Environmental groups are pushing for the flight ban to go even further, with Greenpeace saying it should extend to six hours where a train alternative is available.

The Austrian government previously considered a similar step as part of a bailout of Austrian Airlines, suggesting that domestic flights be axed where a train ride of up to three hours is available, such as between Vienna and Salzburg.

It’s estimated that 80% of short-range flights in Austria could be replaced by trips on the country’s sprawling OBB state rail network.

Research into carbon output suggests taking an electric train instead of a domestic flight would reduce an individual’s environmental footprint by 84%.

The same study found emissions per kilometre on a domestic trip in Europe are up to 70% higher than international long-range flights and six times higher than making the same trip by train.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 451

I can understand why.that's a part of the world which has some of the best trains in the world.while in Australia what takes about an hour or 80 minutes flying takes half a day by train.

06 Sep 2019

Total posts 27

It seems a sensible move provided there are decent alternatives but it can't be good for the viability of the smaller airports.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 356

Ahh the woke left/green movement at it again trying to dictate peoples lives.

17 Sep 2019

Total posts 1

France has a centrist government. Reducing emissions isn't a left or right wing thing, it's a sensible thing. Get with the times.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 356

Did I say reducing emissions was a bad thing? NO!! 

I said, I am sick of Governments and certain 'groups' trying to dictate to people how they should live there lives. If the train works for some and not others, that's called freedom of choice. 

But if this was left up to 'the free market' there would be no real pressure to take the action which most people agree is necessary to curb emissions and reduce global warming. The Government doesn't have to do this through prohibitive actions, it can also help by offering incentives and make-good funding, but if the Government doesn't step in and simply lets 'the market' do what it wants then 'the market' will largely do whatever is cheapest to delivery and maximises their own profits at the expense of the individual, even their own customers, as well as the community.

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 28

People seem to forget taxation.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Nov 2013

Total posts 17

If you bothered to read the article rather than jump at the opportunity to disparage the 'woke left/green movement' you would see that this was done largely to bail out Air France which was losing $$ due to the pandemic. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 356

It’s a shame the travelling public are dictated by certain groups on the best mode of transportation they should take.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

It is hard to think of a route in Australia that would be affected by a similar restriction.  Sydney-Canberra and Sydney-Orange are both currently over 4 hours on a train.  Maybe if we one day get a fast train service somewhere, though our population density makes that a difficult economic proposition but I guess SYD-CBR would be the most likely starter, it would have some effect.

18 Sep 2015

Total posts 129

Perhaps if Australia adopted a more European approach to urban development and have more development in smaller regional cities with green land in between - all interconnected with fast transport, rather than the current Australian approach of endless sprawl of our few major cities. So yes, Sydney-Canberra faster rail would be an obvious start, and a measured rollout of decent fast rail services to regional cities will reduce the need for short haul air routes. Sydney and Bathurst/Orange/Mudgee, perhaps. Melbourne and just about anywhere in Victoria. Brisbane and Toowoomba, Byron region, Sunshine Coast, Maryborough/Harvey Bay/Bundaberg, for example.

Agree, we've got fly, drive or nothing for most of the journeys we'd make.

18 Sep 2015

Total posts 129

So with one stroke of a pen competition between transport modes is almost eliminated. The train operators must be rubbing their hands and getting ready to increase prices.

Is there any hard evidence that trains have a lesser overall environmental impact than planes for the city pairs impacted?

30 May 2018

Total posts 31

I live in Paris. 90% of electricity in France is nuclear and the rest mainly hydro and wind. Trips by TGV have a close to zero carbon footprint.  How’s that for a positive impact?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2022

Total posts 1

Finally.  In a country with some of the best and most reliable high speed rail, this is environmentally, economically and socially one of the best decisions made for travel.  The idea that you would be encouraged to spend an hour getting to the airport to fly for an hour before spending 30minutes getting out - such as Paris - Lyon rather than a train for 2 hours is absurd.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Jan 2017

Total posts 2

When in Europe I take the train anyway if its less than 3 hrs.  Their rail system is so good and the time difference is minimal.

bsb
bsb

21 Jul 2011

Total posts 95

And I love all things flying and airports, but for those shorter flights, city centre to city centre trains are significantly easier

25 Jun 2018

Total posts 31

Answering parishilton’s rhetorical question, you bet there is.  As for Mightyreds’ comments - no comment.

I was part of a 5 year survey in the 1970s, (shortened to 4 years because of the overwhelming sense & support) for a high speed train service Brisbane-Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne, with a spur to Newcastle. An absolute no-brainer, canned by the no brain politicians.   

Why is Sydney-Melbourne one of the busiest air routes in the world if there isn’t a demand?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 472

The issue is not so much demand, but the infrastructure cost, for the (comparatively) small number of passengers who would use it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 76

Exactly. people don't seem to understand that between cities in Europe of the same distance as Sydney to Melbourne, there are 10s if not 100s of millions of population, whereas there is about 10 million across Syd and melb, and very little in between .... The extraordinary cost of the infrastructure between the cities does not justify the usage.

07 Apr 2022

Total posts 1

This story did not clarify whether private jet travel between the cities is still allowed. If it has not been banned, then then entire scheme is discriminatory and dishonest. Hypocrites.

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 63

That's when the average joe mighty actually wake up one day and actually realise its all designed for the masses (e.g herd of sheep - just look at the comments on here)

2A
2A

23 Feb 2017

Total posts 16

Out of curiosity, I had a look at trains from Vienna to Salzburg tomorrow. There are three trains every hour, journey time 2hr 22, 2hr 28 and 2hr 53, the differences being due to the stopping pattern. Private operator Westbahn has a fare of just over 27 euro available on every service (cheaper off-peak). Of course, if you live in Austria you'd be mad not to have a KlimaTicket (climate ticket) - 1095 euro for 1 year of unlimited public transport (all modes) throughout the country. If you are cashed up and want to travel a class higher, the other two services each hour are three class Railjets run by the state operator OeBB. The Business Class on these is superb (as is the Gruner Veltliner). Restaurant car available to all, at seat service in First and Business. And for those arriving long-haul at VIE, one of the Railjets starts back at the airport. Reservations possible, but not compulsory on all services so you can turn up and go. Who'd fly? RC   

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 98

We’ll that’s a bummer if you often have connections to long international flights.

But for those who have a short trip entirely within France?… little change. City or town centre to city centre is a no brainer.

I’ll vote for the next polli to get up and say that they definitely will get a MEL-CBR-SYD fast train on the cards. I’ll even volunteer to help their campaign if the commit to nuclear.

I must add though, what a pity the government had to make this decision for the people. Surely “the market” had done for them. I’m not a fan of market interference.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 27

Another woke gone to far movement what these people don’t understand is is all of this has a flow on affect for business travel etc. The left extremists still want to use mobile phones and internet ( which is powered by mining)but they don’t want people to travel 

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 28

Short haul domestic flights also serve as feeder service connecting to or from international flights. If airlines and train companies could interline and the transfer experience could be better improved, I would be happy to consider trains as an alternative option.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Nov 2013

Total posts 17

This already occurs in France. CDG airport has a TGV stop that connects to many cities in France, including a 3 hr trip to Marseille. 

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 188

Often went by 4-hour train between Brussels and Frankfurt. Flight was 40 mins, but often Brussels takeoffs were delayed, waiting for a landing slot at Frankfurt. Could do a lot of work on the train. Also used train a lot between Frankfurt and Berlin, with last main leg, Wolfsburg to Spandau of 200 kms, taking only one hour.

28 Mar 2018

Total posts 23

Short haul electric aircraft are already flying, so is the ban on flying or on the fuel that can be used? 

Velocity

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 58

When the likes of Greenpeace & their government enablers travel by train or ship to annual climate gabfests, and leave their biz jets parked at home (some 400 lightly loaded jets at last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, I believe) or they fly commercial, or even better, conduct these things via Zoom, I might start listening. Until then they can kiss … well, you can guess the rest. Other points: due to frequent delays, I gave up very short haul flying (1-2 hrs) in Europe years ago. And flying in the USA has become such a nightmare, I now take a car or RV from the entry airport. As for a high-speed train between SYD-MEL, forget it. We do not have the population size to make it pay. 

Have fun y’all!!

05 Dec 2017

Total posts 14

Wouldnt taxes be a more efficient way of incentivising travel changes? Why is this imposed by others and reducing competition? Wouldn't it just increase private car use and penalise Paris as a connecting hub? So if you're in Lyon and want to fly to London, Air France loses that passenger that might connect in Paris. Poor policy that will have unintended consequences. Very common in environmental circles.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 118

Considering that most airports are at least a 20-30 minute drive, check in is done an hour before flight, in the air for another hour, then getting from airport to city centre being another 20-30 minutes, there really is no difference in the time spent. Taking into consideration that France has developed their rail network substantially over the years and has great coverage, makes sense to try and make this an option. Hopefully they will consider the losses at those airports from these choices and that there are vendors who rely on the travelers to support themselves and their families. 

We visited the UK for a wedding in August, it was in Scotland so we flew from LHR-EDI and GLA-LHR; my OH went to visit family about an hour north of London after the wedding, some of whom were at said wedding, and drove to Scotland and back. On the return, we left before them and with the waiting around then driving from LHR, they got home before my OH got to them.

I was flying out of LHR anyway, so it made sense for me, but it was actually more inconvenient for my OH to fly than it would have been for her to drive.


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