France to ban short-haul domestic flights

France seeks to curb ultra short flights.


The French government is planning to issue a decree that will prevent low-cost carriers to operate short-haul domestic routes that Air France must abandon as part of the terms of its bailout package.


The new policy will put a stop to domestic flights if a train journey of less than two and a half hours exists for the same route.


“If we are asking things of Air France, it’s not so that low-cost companies can come along and start their own service,” French Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne said.


Air France-KLM received €7 billion in loans and guarantees from the French government in exchange for agreeing to curb domestic flights by 40% by 2021 to “accelerate its environmental transition.”


The move will put France in a similar position as Austria, which has also placed limitations on short-haul air travel as part of a state-funding plan for the local unit of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.


Despite the French decree appearing meaningful on paper, Greenpeace France has said the measures won’t make a huge difference environmentally as they would cut carbon emissions by only 6.6%.