France wants to ban low-cost flights

The proposal would set a minimum price for all flights to, from and within the EU.

By David Flynn, September 12 2023
France wants to ban low-cost flights

Having already banned domestic flights of under 2½ hours when there’s a train or bus covering the same route, France now hopes to wipe out low-cost airfares – and not just within its own borders, but right across the EU.

In an interview with influential French news magazine L’Obs, transport minister Clément Beaune said that tickets costing as little as €10 were no longer feasible in a time of “environmental crisis”.

Beaune suggests those should be replaced by a Government-mandated  “minimum air ticket price” applying to all flights across the EU’s 27 member countries to “fight against social and environmental dumping.”

Also on Beaune’s green agenda is a higher ‘aviation tax’ for all airlines and even more so on private jets.

As previously reported, Beaune earlier this year brought into law France’s controversial ban on flights from Paris to the likes of Bordeaux and Lyon, which are connected by high-speed trains.

“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?” he posed at the time.

However, the success of fast rail as an alternative to air travel needs not only an investment in infrastructure but a concerted effort to bring down train fares, with Greenpeace claiming that rail travel within Europe is often anywhere from two to four times the cost of flying.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 161

Being environmentally responsible is a excellent thing, but inevitably there does come a point (as in so many other aspects of life) where you're really shooting yourself in the foot, for little tangible gain. Perhaps even no gain at all when you look at the macro situation. Not being a downer or naysayer here. Just being completely realistic..

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 149

If SNCF wasn't state owned would this even be happening? Is this environmental protectionism or just a greedy government money grab? 

14 Sep 2023

Total posts 1

Guess how large, worst case, the so called climate crisis is raising the temperature. Less than 1%. To be specific, 0.87%. Moreover, despite wild claims to the contrary, climatologist have not been able to link any actual changes to climate change other than a very slight change in the climate itself, to the so called crisis. We have plenty of things to worry about. Making travel only for the wealthy for example. I get that the Davis crowd hates people. It's time for people to start hating the Davis crowd. 


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

If I have a voice, I would vote for it. IMHO our government should step up and limit flight between Melbourne and Sydney to 30 minutes and then airlines  start to cooperate and use more suitable planes for the route like A330/B787 instead of mosquito fleet when each and every player like to bite it own piece of cake.

06 Sep 2019

Total posts 30

Punishing the poor seems to have become a sport for the pollies lately.

30 May 2018

Total posts 33

I live in France. This is just one voice in an on-going debate. The ban on flights of less than 2.5 hrs where there is an HSR alternative is well accepted and largely uncontroversial as hardly anyone was flying those routes anyway O&D. What your article and others like it in the Angloshere always overlook is the that the ban is on O&D, and not on connections to international flights. You can buy a ticket Bordeaux to NYC via Paris, but not simply Bordeaux to Paris where the train is faster city to city anyway. Same for Lyon. TGVs are powered by nuclear generated electricity leading to close to zero carbon emissions per trip. 

For the new proposal on low cost carriers, it's pretty disappointing to see the quality of the discussion on this thread. Australia is still largely viewed as an international pariah when it comes to carbon responsibility.  Some way to go still it seems. It would be more productive to try to understand how the proposal is attempting to prevent highly distorted pricing driving the most polluting transport over the cleanest when both are realistic and available.  If you're still denying the climate crisis, there's not much I can say to you. 

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