France Ban On Short-Haul Flights Comes Into Effect: A Bold Step towards Sustainable Travel
France’s ban on short-haul domestic flights finally entered into force on 23 May 2023.
Domestic short-haul flights have been banned in France where alternative train routes exist in a bid to cut carbon emissions. The change will mostly rule out 3-hour air travel between Paris and regional hubs such as Nantes, Lyon, and Bordeaux with connecting flights unaffected.
The move is part of France’s 2021 Climate Law, but the legislation was initially contested causing a referral to the European Commission which gave the green light for the ban in December last year.
The EU insisted the air route in question must have a high-speed rail alternative that makes it possible to travel between the two cities in less than two-and-a-half hours. There must also be enough early and late-running trains to enable travellers to spend at least eight hours at the destination.
This is a major move when it comes to cutting emissions from air travel, which is one of the most polluting ways to travel on a per-passenger basis.
In addition to the short-haul flight ban, France is also working on heavily reducing private flights, since the country has the highest number of private jets in Europe, loaded by frequent trips between Paris and the French Riviera.
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