The ban on airlines in the event of an alternative by a rail link of less than 2h30 has come into force, according to a decree published on Tuesday May 23 in the Official Journal. This ban provided for by the Climate and Resilience Law of August 22, 2021, and already applied in practice, was suspended pending an in-depth investigation by the European Commission following a complaint from part of the aviation sector. The ban does not apply to connecting flights.
After the green light from the European executive, the decree specifies the conditions for applying the ban. The train journey must serve, without change, the same cities as the airports concerned. In the case of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, it is the high-speed station serving the airport that is taken into account. “The frequencies must be sufficient and the timetables appropriate, taking into account the transport needs of passengers using this route, in particular in terms of connectivity and intermodality, as well as the traffic transfers which would be caused by the ban”, adds the decree. Finally, the link must allow more than eight hours of on-site presence during the day, all year round.
In concrete terms, the links falling within the scope of the decree are Paris-Orly-Nantes, Orly-Lyon and Orly-Bordeaux. Above all, the law ratified the existing one, since the government had forced Air France to give up the links concerned in return for financial support in May 2020, at the time of the Covid crisis. And it forbade competitors to rush into the breach.