French lawmakers have just voted to ban short domestic flights. This sounds drastic, but the practical implications are fairly limited.
France’s ban on domestic flights
Last night, French lawmakers voted to ban domestic flight routes that can be covered by train in under 2hr30min. This is an effort by the government to lower carbon emissions from air travel. This vote was made by the National Assembly, but there will be two more sets of votes before this is formally approved.
This vote came shortly after it was announced that the French government would more than double its stake in Air France-KLM, which is coming with some significant provisions.
This latest bill is part of an overall effort by the country to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, bringing them back down to 1990 levels.
As France’s Industry Minister, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, described this update:
“We know that aviation is a contributor of carbon dioxide and that because of climate change we must reduce emissions. Equally, we must support our companies and not let them fall by the wayside.”
France has been considering all kinds of measures to reduce emissions from aviation. For example, last September I wrote about how the country was considering adding the world’s highest aviation eco-tax, which could be 400 EUR one-way for long haul business class flights.
Other ideas under consideration included banning flights where there are train connections of less than four hours, and even banning the construction of new airports and expansion of existing airports.
France was considering the world’s highest aviation eco-tax
How many routes are impacted by this?
This new measure might sound drastic, but how many flight routes are actually potentially impacted by this legislation? Of the 108 pre-coronavirus domestic routes in France, this potentially impacts… five routes. Yep, just five.
This includes the following (flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle aren’t impacted):
- Paris Orly to Bordeaux
- Paris Orly to Lyon
- Paris Orly to Nantes
- Paris Orly to Rennes
- Lyon to Marseille
So yeah, this would potentially ban ~4.6% of domestic flight routes. Admittedly these are probably some of the more high frequency routes, so it probably represents more than 4.6% of total domestic capacity, but still. I’d hardly call this revolutionary.
It’s primarily routes out of Paris Orly that are impacted
France is planning on banning domestic flights in markets that could be covered by trains in under 2hr30min. This is part of a larger plan to reduce emissions in the country, and comes days after the government increased its stake in Air France-KLM.
If this new law is finalized, it would impact just five of the 100+ domestic routes in France, so the implications wouldn’t be that huge. At least it won’t have nearly as bad of an impact on the French aviation industry as the introduction of the world’s highest aviation tax, for example.
What do you make of France planning on banning short haul domestic flights?