The world's first ban on domestic flights comes into force in France28.05.2023 | 16:37 |
France's ban on flights on domestic routes for which there are alternative rail journeys of less than 2.5 hours has come into force. The country's transport minister called the move "a first in the world" and is designed to encourage people to use modes of transport with lower emissions.
For the first time, the French government came up with the idea of banning domestic flights, which have train routes of less than 2.5 hours, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a condition of providing billions of euros in state aid to Air France-KLM to help it weather the crisis.
After approval by the European Commission and public consultation, the publication in a government decree on May 23 formally made the initiative part of French law.
Flights from Paris to Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon are now banned as the train journey could take less than 2.5 hours, the Ministry of Transport said. The route between Bordeaux and Orly Airport in Paris generated 15% of Bordeaux Airport passenger traffic in 2019 (566,000 passengers), according to ATO.ru.
France, the birthplace of TGV high-speed trains, has a well-developed rail network. The carrier is expanding its cooperation with rail operator SNCF under the Train + Air program, which allows passengers to issue a combined ticket through a single order, including flight and rail travel.