France bans domestic short flights

The goal of the law is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.Photo: Ekaterina Pokrovsky

In France, a law came into force prohibiting direct flights between cities within the country if there is a rail connection between them and the travel time does not exceed 2.5 hours.

The relevant law, writes “Medusa”, was adopted two years ago, but entered into force only in May 2023. The goal of the law is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Under the new rules, for example, flights between Paris and cities such as Nantes, Marseille, Lyon and Bordeaux are banned. The ban does not apply to connecting flights.

Initially, it was assumed that the ban would apply to direct flights if the journey along the same route by train takes less than 4 hours, but airlines have managed to achieve more favorable conditions for themselves.

Critics of the law point out that it is purely symbolic and will not lead to any significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and the authorities, in their opinion, need to take truly effective measures. In addition, there are concerns that the National Company of French Railways (SNCF) may increase prices or reduce the quality of service against the backdrop of a ban on short-haul domestic flights.

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