France Is Banning Some Short Domestic Flights To Combat Emissions

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France’s ban on some short domestic flights comes into effect in April 2022. The law, which was passed last year, does away with short-haul plane flights on routes where you can take a train in 2.5 hours or less, unless it connects to a longer international flight. Reportedly, this will cull about 12% of France’s domestic flights, mainly routes from Paris Orly to Bordeaux, Nantes, and Lyon, while international journeys that go through Paris Charles de Gaulle won’t be affected.

It is unclear how much of an impact this ban will have on France’s emissions. Traveling by the Eurostar train in France instead of by domestic flight would reportedly cut a traveler’s carbon footprint by around 96% as France’s electrical grid is largely powered by low-carbon sources.

The national ban came about after the French government paid more than $4 billion to bail Air France out of mounting debt in 2020. A provision of the bailout was that Air France would have to adhere to similar rules concerning short flights. The ban passed in 2021 and was enacted. In March 2022, the ban was expanded to include any airline operating within France.