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Friday, 16 April 2021

France cancels domestic flights where trains are available

 

As part of a number of climate and environmental initiatives, French MPs voted to cancel domestic airline flights on routes that can be traveled by direct train in less than two and a half hours.

The moratorium, a watered-down version of a central proposal from President EmmanuelMacron's citizens' climate conference, was introduced after a tense debate in the Assemblée Nationale over the weekend.

Short internal flights from Orly airport, south of Paris, to Nantes and Bordeaux, among other destinations, will be discontinued, while connection flights from Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport, north of Paris, will begin. 

Macron's climate commission had previously advised that all flights between French destinations be cancelled if a direct train journey of less than four hours was available.

After heavy opposition from some regions and Air France-KLM, which, like other airlines, has been severely impacted by local and international Covid-19 travel bans, it was limited to two and a half hours.

 

The French government agreed to a €7 billion loan for AF-KLM a year ago on the condition that such internal flights be discontinued; however, the decree would also exclude low-cost carriers from serving the prohibited domestic routes. 

Benjamin Smith, the CEO of Air France-KLM, has stated that the airline is committed to cutting the number of domestic routes in France by 40% by the end of this year.

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