April 12, 2021 / Domestic flights on routes that can be served by train in under two and a half hours were abolished by French lawmakers late Saturday, as the government tries to reduce carbon emissions even as the airline industry struggles to cope with the global pandemic.
France is famous for its TGV high-speed trains which can travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour (320km/h), so that the decision will likely apply to routes from Paris to Nantes, Strasbourg and Lyon, to make a few examples. Longer sectors like those from the French capital to other important cities like Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Nice shold not be impacted.
The vote came only days after the government announced that it would contribute to a 4 billion euro recapitalisation of Air France (AF), more than doubling its interest in the flag carrier to help it recover from more than a year of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher rejected criticism from the aviation industry that a pandemic recovery was not the right time to ban any domestic flights, claiming that the bailout and the environment bill were not incompatible and said, “We know that aviation contributes to carbon dioxide emissions, and that we must reduce emissions because of climate change. At the same time, we must help our businesses and not allow them to fail.” (Photo Air France)