As of today, France prohibits regional flights when there is an “alternative” train lasting up to two and a half hours, so it immediately affects air links between Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon, and Paris-Orly.
This measure, included within the Climate Law approved in August 2021, is applied for three years; it indicates that train journeys must have “sufficient frequencies and adequate schedules”, while the connection must allow the passenger to be more than eight hours at the destination during the day.
In addition, the route of the rail service must be carried out between stations that serve the same cities as the respective airports in question.
“However, when the more important of these two airports, taking into account the average traffic registered in the last seven years, is directly served by a high-speed rail service, the station that will be taken into account for the application of the provisions of this section will be the one that serves this airport, “explains the decree.
In this regard, the French Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, declared this measure “an essential step” and “a strong symbol in the policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
“It is a world first and is fully in line with the Government’s policy of promoting the use of modes of transport that emit fewer greenhouse gases,” he stressed in a statement.
FOR IATA, IT IS AN “ABSURD” MEASURE
However, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), through its director general, Willie Walsh, described the measure as “completely absurd” and that “it is useless.”
Walsh explained that if all routes of less than 500 kilometers in Europe were eliminated, 24% of flights would be abolished, but instead, CO2 emissions would fall by only 3.84%, citing a Eurocontrol report.
In addition, one of the airline employers, A4E, regretted that “prohibiting these trips will only have minimal effects” on CO2 emissions.
He also claimed that governments should support “real and meaningful solutions” to the problem.
With information from LGI
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