France Wants To End Cheap Airline Tickets To Help Environment

France Wants To End Cheap Airline Tickets To Help Environment

As the world grapples with the pressing issue of climate change, France is planning to introduce a policy to reduce carbon emissions.

France is about to propose to the EU a minimum flight price policy that ends low-cost airfares.

France’s Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, has outlined plans to essentially eliminate ultra-cheap airline tickets within France. Beaune has proposed “the establishment of a minimum air ticket price” in order to “fight against social and environmental dumping.”

He plans to submit this proposal in the days to come. As he describes it, “plane tickets at €10, at a time of ecological transition, this is no longer possible,” and “this does not reflect the price for the planet.”

Low-cost airlines made major inroads in Europe by offering rock-bottom fares on some routes, with Ryanair becoming the region’s largest airline.

But the low fares sometimes don’t cover costs, and flying emits more greenhouse gases than travelling by train.

“I openly call for taxing polluting activities to invest in the ecological transition,” said Beaune, adding that the government plans to increase the tax on flights departing France to fund rail investments.

This would initially only apply to domestic flights, given that this would be much more complicated to implement on international flights, given varying international laws. 

France has recently banned many short-haul domestic flights, which can be covered by train in up to 2 and a half hours.

It’s not entirely clear yet in what form this legislation would come. 

Experts say this doesn’t necessarily solve the carbon emission issue as it doesn’t address the environmental impact of frequent fliers.

Expensive Train Tickets

According to a July 2023 Greenpeace analysis, alternative railway tickets in Europe are twice as expensive as air tickets.

Over the 112 most essential routes studied by Greenpeace, just 12 train lines were judged to be faster, more reliable, and less expensive than aeroplanes.

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