France bans some short-haul domestic flights

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by GRG55, Apr 18, 2021.

Tags:
  1. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,274
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    I missed this news item earlier this week, and didn't find another thread about it when I did a keyword search. Apologies if someone else already posted it.

    Interesting development on the carbon reduction front, with wider ranging implications in western Europe and elsewhere.

    Interestingly, the Canadian government announced a COVID related financial assistance package for Montreal headquartered Air Canada last week. This was the first support for an airline in Canada since COVID started. Part of that negotiation was the explicit requirement for Air Canada to restore service on a number of shorter domestic routes to smaller centers that had been earlier cut as a cost saving measure after the COVID lockdowns began last year.

    I will confess that when I lived in London between 2004 and 2008, and wanted to make a trip to Paris, I found the EuroStar train an infinitely more civilized way to travel compared to the airlines.

    https://www.airport-technology.com/features/france-bans-short-haul-flight-industry-reacts/

    France bans short-haul flights: Industry reacts
    14 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 14th, 2021 17:15)

    ...The French Government has banned short-haul internal flights when rail alternatives could cover the journey in 2h30 or less.

    The bill, which was voted in the French Parliament on 10 April, will only apply to a handful of routes, such as those between Paris and Nantes, and Lyon and Bordeaux. Connecting flights are excluded.

    Aiming to cut down France’s CO2 emission levels of 1990 by 40%, the measure – which needs to be approved at the Senate level – was applauded by President Macron’s party LaREM.

    “We are engaging in a profound transformation of the aviation sector,” read a tweet from LaREM MPs. “Favouring the train or other means of public transport for short distances is common sense and a key gesture for the climate.”...

    ...Industry Minister Agnes Pannerier-Runacher responded to comments during an interview with European radio Europe 1. “We know that aviation is a contributor of carbon dioxide and that because of climate change we must reduce emissions,” Reuters reported that she said. “Equally, we must support our companies and not let them fall by the wayside.”

    To help support the industry, France recently granted €4bn for the recapitalisation of Air France, after previously allocating €7bn to the carrier to help weather the Covid-19 pandemic.
     
  2. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,185
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Warlock
    Typical...also to punish the UK for not wanting to subsidize the French owned Eurostar...don’t get me wrong I like Eurostar and have used them several times to Paris and Brussels it’s a nice comfortable way to go but I can remember once my two hour Brussels to London turned into eight when a migrant received a Darwin Award for playing on the tracks.
     
    Omalley1537 likes this.
  3. Cervieres

    Cervieres Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2020
    Messages:
    226
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Antione
    Agree, pretty much any domestic route on the SNCF is much faster, less stressful, and less expensive than flying. Anything that can be done to avoid CDG and Air France is good in my book.
     
    Ghery and TCABM like this.
  4. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10,145
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    murphey
    Hoewever car travel creates substantially more emissions than commercial flights. At least in the US. Check out DOT stats.
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.
  5. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,274
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    These kinds of measurements of carbon footprint are fraught with difficulty.

    Comparing just the type and amount of fuel burned per "passenger mile" or something like that is probably the easiest part, but a bit superficial.

    Every form of transportation requires other things to support it, from asphalt roads, concrete runways, steel rails, metal housings for the passengers (car, rail carriage, airframe), some source of motive energy consumption...and on it goes.

    The other risk I see here is if the short haul air travel infrastructure is removed it may set back alternate, lower carbon emitting forms of air travel development. The first electric, or whatever alternate, airplanes are almost certainly going to need to be applied to short haul routes initially.
     
    skier likes this.
  6. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    7,910
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cap'n Jack
    Traveling between cities in Europe, I found the trains fast and efficient. The only minor problem I had was stowing a suitcase. Some trains had stowage, others didn't. Likewise in China, moving between Shanghai, Suzhou, and Nanjing, and between Hong Kong and Shenzhen and was quite easy; actually easier for me than the locals since the stations had a special line for foreigners. Each country in Europe is the size of an USA state. It was overall faster than flying, actually.

    Cities are a bit more distant here, we need domestic flights.
     
  7. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    27,764
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    Whenever I hear something like this, I just think “That’s so France.”

    With that said, I really don’t understand why anyone would fly commercially between cities like that. The trains in Europe are fantastic and a much better way to travel in my experience. France (and Europe in general) is just not very large and not nearly as spread out as we are here.
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    13,248
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eman1200
    ¡sacre bleu!
     
    ColoPilot likes this.
  9. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    506
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ColoPilot
    But don't they need a backup for when the French train workers go on strike (or vis versa)
     
  10. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    15,510
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bob Noel
    car, bus?
     
  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,274
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    Neither. More red Bordeaux.
     
    Ted, murphey and ColoPilot like this.
  12. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    27,764
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    “it’s like a Beaujolais Neuveau - starts off bad and gets steadily worse with age.”
    -Jeremy Clarkson
     
    denverpilot, Omalley1537 and GRG55 like this.
  13. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,219
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Sluggo63
    Airline workers go on strike as much as the train/bus people. And usually strikes over there aren't like strikes over here. They don't usually totally shut down, just reduce service like only running every third train. Also, it's usually just random days and announced ahead of time so people can plan around it. It's causes an inconvenience and it's a PITA, much much less likely to P.O. the public and they get their point across.
     
    GRG55 likes this.
  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,274
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    Years ago, when I was living in London, I got caught in one of these at Nice. I was trying to get back to the UK on an EasyJet flight after a weekend visit with a friend in France. France's college students had been striking, yet again, over some issue or another (tuition? free croissants? who knows...) and the air traffic controllers decided to show sympathy by reducing service. Air France flights were unaffected, but all non-domestic carriers were restricted and disrupted in French air space.

    Being Nice it was a bit of a holiday atmosphere at the airport where we were lined up trying to rebook alternate routes. Nobody really got upset ("It's France :dunno:") and I met some interesting travellers from all over the world that afternoon.

    As you note, the air traffic controllers didn't totally shut down the system. I eventually got on a flight to Liverpool, and after two trains from there arrived at my flat in Central London in the early morning hours. I do recall the "last mile" black taxi ride from Paddington to my apartment cost more than a one-way EasyJet ticket to the south of France. :frown2:

    Love that! I am going to shamelessly plagiarize it.

    Unfortunately, I do have an unhealthy penchant for Bordeaux reds, particularly Margaux.

    Another friend of mine is the son of a US diplomat that was posted to France when my friend was young. When they were transferred back to D.C. he tells the story of his parents hosting a neighbourhood party and being asked about their time overseas. His mother's response was "Ah, the French. They have the most beautiful landscapes, an incredibly rich history, the most wonderful food, the best wines and the language of love. And they don't deserve any of it." :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
    Sluggo63 and Ted like this.
  15. tspear

    tspear En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,606
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timothy
    So, do you think the politicians considered what is going to happen for people traveling to/from France from other destinations. My wife is French, so we go every year or two to France to visit friends and family spread around the country (mostly the north eastern part where we go by train); we normally bounce through Paris and spend a couple nights there on each end of the trip. Due to going for the cheapest airfare, we have bounced through other large cities, London, Frankfurt, Madrid... When this law comes into play, I doubt we will bookend our trip with Paris again. It will be whatever is the cheapest large city we fly into.
    The result I think is the potential for a real loss of vacation travelers as it makes travel connections much harder.

    Tim
     
  16. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WI Flyer
    Notice how Russia, China, & India never do this stuff??
     
  17. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    15,510
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bob Noel
    France: about 641,000 km2

    Russia: 17,098,246 km2

    China: 9,596,961 km2

    India: 3,287,263 km2

    hmmmmm
     
    Groundpounder and Cervieres like this.
  18. Cervieres

    Cervieres Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2020
    Messages:
    226
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Antione
    Probably not a comparison you want to make. There are very few routes in Russia that would qualify as “short haul” and China and India have some of the worst air quality in the world.
     
  19. Cervieres

    Cervieres Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2020
    Messages:
    226
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Antione
    You beat me to it.
     
  20. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,219
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Sluggo63
    Unless I’m missing something, I don’t understand how this would change anything you would have planned. They’re just curtailing short, intra-France flights. Like if you flew JFK-CDG then connect with the TGV to Nancy instead of HOP!. The TGV station is at CDG and easy to get to.
     
  21. tspear

    tspear En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,606
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timothy
    Rarely fly into CDG, Orly is more often if indirect. Often actually connect through London and Frankfurt for cheaper flights. Having a connecting train after an international flight, we have missed the connection multiple time due to unexpected lines at Customs (we have a minimum of 2 hours and it is often not enough, we schedule four later and got through in 30 minutes). I have found that connecting flights, even through Customs are more likely to connect than switching to trains. So now, we fly into Paris (either airport), stay a couple days then catch a train.
    If you talk to travel agents to arrange the trips, they will give the same advice.
    Train prices are pretty much a wash no water where you start. So the result is we will go to the city with the cheapest direct pair or cheapest connection to be close of Strasbourg and bookend the trip there. It will probably not be in France, especially Paris. Oh well. I will just have to see more of Europe....

    Tim
     
  22. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,152
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    It is my understanding that you can still fly if it is part of a connection, i.e. you can still fly Boston-Paris-Lyon, or whatever.
     
  23. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    11,112
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    LOL, gonna have to drive now.
     
  24. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,989
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Larry in TN
    That's what I saw as well. Not sure how that reduces CO2 emissions very much as most of the people flying those short flights were likely already connecting. The train trip would have been more attractive to non-connecting travelers already.
     
  25. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WI Flyer
    Not really talking about restricting short flights, but more so all the hamstringing on the board for the USA.
     
  26. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    7,910
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cap'n Jack
    China has made great strides clearing the air, the last couple of times I was there the end of 2019. The difference from 2017 was quite impressive!
     
  27. cowtowner

    cowtowner Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    136
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowtowner
    I’ve been to China more times than I can count. Was there right before the world shut down

    The air there isn’t any better, and in some places worse. You can literally taste the air.

    I’ve been to Shanghai probably 50 times and have only seen the top of the worlds second largest building twice. Right after typhoons blew in to blow away the pollution. This past winter the pollution was so bad they turned off the heat to government owned buildings to try to reduce the electricity demand.

    And all those electric trains in China? Fueled by coal power plants. In France it’s almost all nuclear.