France Looks To Restrict Private Jet Flights

France Looks To Restrict Private Jet Flights

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Environmentalism has become an increasingly important topic in the aviation industry. Not only have airlines made pledges about reducing emissions, but we’ve seen some governments impose restrictions on airline travel, from banning short haul flights, to increasing taxes on flying, to adding permanent airport passenger caps.

Interestingly little has been done to restrict private jet flights… until now.

France looks to regulate use of private jets

French Transport Minister Clément Beaune has floated the idea of further restrictions on the use of private jets, ideally on the European Union level.

This follows the use of private jets having surged during the pandemic, despite an estimate that an hourlong private jet flight emits roughly one-quarter of the average European’s annual emissions. For context, roughly 10% of all departing flights in France in 2019 were by private jet, and half of those flew fewer than 300 miles (presumably many of those were empty leg repositioning flights, not that this makes it any better).

Beaune explained that average people can’t be asked to make sacrifices to save energy and combat climate change while others take private jets:

“Certain types of behavior are no longer acceptable. We have to act to regulate flights on private jets. There can’t be a means of individual travel for comfort at a time when the president’s campaign requires everyone to make an effort.”

Beaune is hoping to meet with other transport ministers from the European Union in October, as he thinks the EU acting together would have more of an impact.

As French government spokesperson Olivier Véran explains, restrictions on private jets would signal that the same rules apply to all:

“It has symbolic value, and symbols are important. The French should not have the feeling that it is always the same people who are asked to make an effort, that is to say, the working and middle classes.”

While you might see headlines suggesting that France is looking to outright ban private jets, that’s not quite accurate. Julien Bayou, the leader of the French Green Party, has called for a total ban on private jets, but that’s not being considered by the current administration.

The French government is considering restricting private jet flights

Does restricting private jet flights make sense?

There’s no denying that people will have strong opinions on this on both sides.

Some people will argue that the government shouldn’t meddle in peoples’ business, and think people should be able to spend their money how they’d like to.

At the same time, the reality of the current situation is that “average” consumers are restricted in where they can fly. For example, France has banned domestic airline flights that can be covered in under 2hr30min by train. These rules apply to everyone, except those who are rich enough to fly by private jet.

If a country is going to set a certain goal of reducing emissions, it doesn’t seem fair that 99%+ of people have to make changes, while a small percent of rich people can do whatever they’d like.

Now, in fairness, an outright ban on private jets won’t work, in my opinion — not in France, and not on the European Union level. That being said, those with private jets have money, so why not just tax private jet flights to & from France at a very high level? Tax them enough so that they’re more than “offset” in terms of their carbon footprint.

Private jet flights already face all kinds of taxes, so why not have a dedicated tax that goes into carbon offset programs, taking some of the guilt away from these flights? Admittedly it’s not a perfect solution, but it addresses the concept of “average” people making sacrifices, while the super rich can do whatever they want.

The government has added many restrictions on airline flights

Bottom line

France’s Transport Minister has made it clear that he’s looking to add restrictions on private jet flights, and is hoping to partner with other transport ministers in the European Union to come up with a cohesive plan.

We’ve seen governments in Europe add all kinds of restrictions on airline travel, ranging from banning short haul flights to increasing taxes. In that sense, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to do something to restrict private jet flights, whatever form that might come in.

I can’t imagine the EU will be able to agree on something here, though I could see France at least doing something to restrict flights to & from the country.

What do you make of the French government’s plan to add private jet flight restrictions?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Ray13 Guest

    I’d be interested to see what the wording would be like if there’s a supertax on private aviation. I imagine the Monaco types flying to/from Nice would face the brunt of it. What of government jets, I wonder? Middle Eastern princes and their private 747s are the worst offenders for this.

  2. Carrie Member

    A ban on short haul private jet flights in Europe could be exactly what we need! European airlines would then need to rethink their 'premium' offerings to accommodate the private jet set and that could only be a good thing, non?

  3. frrp Member

    Can the rest of the world not just restrict france?

    Bunch of clowns.

  4. Jordan Gold

    The climate scam is exactly that. The carbon they wish to cut is us, get it?

  5. john cocktosin Guest

    What are the odds there's a carve out for EU politicians, WEF types, etc? I'd say high.

  6. D3kingg Guest

    Terrible news. What if Elon wants to fly from CDG to ORY ?

    1. frrp Member

      More chance of flying than using public transport, theyll usually be on strike.

  7. Jason Wong Guest

    Hey @derek,

    My car (a 2016 Nissan) shows the actual psi in the tire on the dashboard, and triggers an alert immediately when the tire pressure is too low.

    So I'm not sure what car you have where you have to wait until the tire is 6 psi too low...

  8. derek Guest

    What if a company needs a specific part to keep the assembly line running. Companies have been known to fly it in specially. That is a private jet (not always a jet) flight.

    Private jet use is like car use. Some people take a drive for not a good reason. True, a car uses less but taken as a population, there's a lot of wasted gas for unimportant trips. Also wasted gas for low tire...

    What if a company needs a specific part to keep the assembly line running. Companies have been known to fly it in specially. That is a private jet (not always a jet) flight.

    Private jet use is like car use. Some people take a drive for not a good reason. True, a car uses less but taken as a population, there's a lot of wasted gas for unimportant trips. Also wasted gas for low tire pressure. (Did you know that TPMS tire pressure monitoring systems do not trigger a warning until the tire pressure is 20% low? So if your car specifies 32 psi, the warning light won't go on until it is 25.4 psi, which is quite low. You could fill it to 38 psi, reset it, then release 6 psi of air. That way, the warning light will go on at 30.4 psi)

  9. Jeffrey Chang Guest

    "Tax them enough so that they’re more than “offset” in terms of their carbon footprint."

    Why not just detain them and make them plant enough trees to offset their various flights for a year. Taxing a person is just taking away the fruits of their labor so why not cut out the middle man of accepting the compensation of their labor and just have compelled labor instead?

  10. Tim Dunn Diamond

    If the basis for reducing environmental impact is because of climate change and climate change threatens all of humanity, then you cannot argue that a penalty is ok to then allow some people to pollute and risk the lives of others UNLESS you believe that the comfort and convenience of some can be bought at the expense of the lives of others.
    Resources in the world are not evenly distributed but France's proposal basically...

    If the basis for reducing environmental impact is because of climate change and climate change threatens all of humanity, then you cannot argue that a penalty is ok to then allow some people to pollute and risk the lives of others UNLESS you believe that the comfort and convenience of some can be bought at the expense of the lives of others.
    Resources in the world are not evenly distributed but France's proposal basically forces the public to decide whether climate change is a matter everyone has to buy into because all people are equal or the entire basis of enviromental policy to reduce climate change is false.
    I'm glad France started the conversation.

  11. Cedric Guest

    Even a 200% tax wouldn't change much. The only serious impact would come from a ban on short haul flights. But then again the point of private jets is mostly to avoid crappy short haul flights...

    Even then, what about charter flights, business jets, sport teams using their own jets...

    1. Jeffrey Chang Guest

      You forgot politicians. They should be banned from attending meetings in private jets, especially climate ones.

  12. Donna Diamond

    A tax, no matter how punishing, is meaningless to this class of traveler. Ban short flights for all but a few exceptions. The Kardashians will have to find another way to get across town.

  13. Bagoly Guest

    Agree with the tax approach - bans just cause cheating.

    BA is apparently paying GBP1 for offsetting London to Madrid in economy, and GBP15 for London to NY in Business.
    That suggests that a short private jet flight in Europe is about GBP50.
    Can anybody correct/confirm that?
    Perhaps charge EUR250 per departure and arrival, irrespective of distance travelled.
    Which is actually much less than I expected, and possibly that others did...

    Agree with the tax approach - bans just cause cheating.

    BA is apparently paying GBP1 for offsetting London to Madrid in economy, and GBP15 for London to NY in Business.
    That suggests that a short private jet flight in Europe is about GBP50.
    Can anybody correct/confirm that?
    Perhaps charge EUR250 per departure and arrival, irrespective of distance travelled.
    Which is actually much less than I expected, and possibly that others did to.
    So introducing this might be good for taking the pressure off those who fly private - it's looks not that big an effect.

  14. DLPTATL Guest

    I agree with Ben, France is still a semi-democractic semi-free market country last time I checked. Add higher fuel taxes to private jets and/or add take-off/landing fees. If you want to take your jet 300 miles, you can pay a premium to do it.

    The goals are both environmental (long-term) and energy consumption reduction (short term, Russia-driven).

  15. pstm91 Diamond

    A ban of private jets will never happen, and I'll be surprised if even this short-haul ban passes. Those flying in private jets are the ones bring huge, meaningful tourism revenue income to the country. Yes, the small/normal bookings add up, but the villas and top suites for 10's of thousands per night and up, the yacht charters for millions per week, those are the huge money makers for the tourism industry. Ban private jets and that income goes out the window.

  16. TravelinWilly Diamond

    First they came for private jets.
    And I did not speak out.
    Because I did not have a private jet.

    Then they came for first class.
    And I freaked the fuck out.

  17. BSS Guest

    Good. About time the elite do their bit and stop forcing their environmental agenda onto others without doing anything themselves.

    Next time they should make sure private jets are banned into Davos too.

  18. Tim Dunn Diamond

    This move has more to do with the soaring cost of energy in Europe and the high likelihood that there will be people that cannot afford to heat their homes this winter due to cuts to Russian gas supplies than it does to environmentalism.
    I rode w/ a cab driver in Europe this summer who showed me his 640 Euro electric bill and said he is not alone. It will be far worse this...

    This move has more to do with the soaring cost of energy in Europe and the high likelihood that there will be people that cannot afford to heat their homes this winter due to cuts to Russian gas supplies than it does to environmentalism.
    I rode w/ a cab driver in Europe this summer who showed me his 640 Euro electric bill and said he is not alone. It will be far worse this winter if supplies can even be found to provide electricity and gas to heat homes.
    Banning private jets is a symbolic way to push back the growing enormous public backlash that is growing. If supplies are so tight that everyday people can't afford basic necessities, then allowing a class of people to do things because they have money is asking for a repeat of the French Revolution.

    There is class warfare developing in countries around the world and energy usage will be at the pointed end of the spear. France might be one step ahead of other countries in seeing this.

    1. Scudder Diamond

      Energy in some countries, water in others.

  19. Golfingboy Guest

    Really easy to implement a domestic restriction. I am disappointed they did not apply the same rules when the domestic flight restrictions went into effect. Not hard to compile a list of airport pairs that are not permitted to have private jet flights on equipment of a certain size. If the rich wants to continue to fly private on a banned route they will have to fly on a Cessna 172 or a similar light weight aircraft.

  20. George Romey Guest

    Of course this won't apply to politicians, do-gooders claiming to save the Earth and the uber, uber (.001%) rich that like to lecture us on our consumption (usually part of the do-gooder crowd). They will find a way around it.

  21. MildMidwesterner Member

    This is a clever way to keep the Kardashians out of France!

  22. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    Corporate execs can't be thrilled by all the cuckoo celebrities advertising that they use private jets for what are essentially milk-runs.... but the more of that that surfaced, the more likely that something like this were to crack down. Definitely saw it coming.

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TravelinWilly Diamond

First they came for private jets. And I did not speak out. Because I did not have a private jet. Then they came for first class. And I freaked the fuck out.

4
DLPTATL Guest

I agree with Ben, France is still a semi-democractic semi-free market country last time I checked. Add higher fuel taxes to private jets and/or add take-off/landing fees. If you want to take your jet 300 miles, you can pay a premium to do it. The goals are both environmental (long-term) and energy consumption reduction (short term, Russia-driven).

3
frrp Member

Can the rest of the world not just restrict france? Bunch of clowns.

2
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