This Country Is First To Ban Short Domestic Flights That Can Be Replaced By Train Ride

This Country Is First To Ban Short Domestic Flights That Can Be Replaced By Train Ride

As part of its Climate Law in 2021, France has become the first EU member to ban short-haul domestic flights on environmental grounds. Flights that can be replaced by a train journey of less than two and a half hours are now formally banned

In 2021, France’s National Assembly initially approved a draft law of this matter, carrying a vote of 56 in favor to 14 opposed. Following approval from the lower house of France’s parliament, the measure went to the Senate to be ratified. 

Green-lit by the European Commission in December 2022, the measure will be reviewed after three years in place.

Currently, only three routes have been approved, from Paris Orly airport to Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux. The ban can be extended to other routes if train services are improved.

Whilst this route seems to be a big boost for climate change and those who initially advocated for this change, it is largely a symbolic gesture. These three affected routes are not currently served by any airlines and connecting flights are not affected by the ban. 

In 2020 Air France cut these routes in exchange for a massive financial aid package and banned competitors from taking on these flight routes. 

Furthermore, this ban doesn’t apply to the country’s main hub at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is also one of Europe’s busiest passenger hubs.

This ban is one of many that President Macron is implementing to reduce France’s greenhouse gas emissions. Macron is hoping that the country will be able to cut emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

According to official statistics provided by the French government, domestic flights only accounted for a paltry four percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Another feather in the cap for those stating this act was one more of a show by Macron but didn’t go far enough.