France officially to ban short-haul domestic flights
Following approval from the European Commission, the government has now published the implementing decree for the law passed in 2021. The text specifies the conditions for the application of the ban and the affected routes.
This ban does not apply to connecting flights.
The aviation sector is undergoing changes. The ban on air routes with a rail alternative of less than 2 hours and 30 minutes has come into effect, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday. This effectively affects flights between Paris and Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux. The ban does not apply to connecting flights.
This ban, provided for in the Climate and Resilience Law of August 22, 2021, and already applied in practice, was suspended pending a thorough investigation by the European Commission following a complaint from a segment of the aviation industry. They considered it contrary to the principle of freedom of provision and unsuitable in the fight against climate change.
Sufficient Frequencies and Appropriate Timings
The decree specifies the conditions for the application of the ban: the train journey must serve the same cities as the affected airports, without any changes. In the case of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, it is the high-speed train station serving the airport that is taken into account. "The frequencies must be sufficient and the timings appropriate, taking into account the transportation needs of passengers using this connection, particularly in terms of connectivity and intermodality, as well as the traffic diversion that would be caused by the ban," the decree adds.
The connection must allow for a presence of more than eight hours on-site throughout the day, all year round. Specifically, the routes within the scope of the decree are Paris-Orly to Nantes, Orly-Lyon, and Orly-Bordeaux.
The law mainly formalized what was already in place, as the government had compelled Air France to abandon the affected connections in exchange for financial support in May 2020 during the Covid crisis. It also prevented competitors from taking advantage of the situation.