France has implemented a ban on short-haul domestic flights in an effort to tackle carbon emissions.
Under the new rule, flights between cities that can be reached by train within two-and-a-half hours are prohibited. Unfortunately, this means that several air routes connecting Paris to cities like Bordeaux, Lyon, and Nantes are no longer allowed. However, it’s important to note that connecting flights remain unaffected by the law.
While the ban restricts certain domestic air travel, it does not eliminate all options. For instance, journeys from Paris to Marseille, a popular route, are still permitted as they take around three hours by high-speed rail. The implementation of this ban falls short of the eight routes initially highlighted by a climate law in 2021. Nevertheless, if rail services improve in the future, more flights could potentially be axed to further reduce carbon emissions.
The aviation industry has expressed concerns about the ban, arguing that it adds to the challenges faced by the sector in the wake of the pandemic.
Laurent Donceel, the interim head of Airlines for Europe (A4E), a leading industry group, urged governments to focus on “real and significant solutions” for reducing airline emissions instead of relying on symbolic bans. He emphasized that merely prohibiting these short-haul flights would have minimal impact on CO2 output.