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The European Commission validates the abolition of domestic flights in France when a journey of less than 2h30 is possible by train

The European Commission validates the abolition of domestic flights in France when a journey of less than 2h30 is possible by train

The European Commission has validated the French measure to abolish domestic flights when a train journey of less than two and a half hours is possible, according to a decision published on Friday 2 December in the Official Journal of the European Union. The European executive had opened an investigation into the subject in 2021, after an appeal from certain French airports. This measure, an emblematic provision of the 2021 climate law, will have to be re-examined after three years and also apply to connecting flights, specifies the text.

This project was contested by the Union of French Airports (UAF), jointly with the European branch of the International Council of Airports (ACI Europe). The latter considered in particular that French law, which has the effect of prohibiting connections between Paris (Orly) and Nantes, Lyon or Bordeaux, introduced discrimination between carriers.

Clément Beaune welcomes “a major step forward”

Discussions have taken place between the Commission and the French government to ensure that the project complies with European legislation. Paris thus had to waive a derogation that the law provided for connecting journeys, the Commission judging that it introduced a distortion of competition between airlines, in particular those “whose business model is not focused on connecting passengers”.

The Minister Delegate for Transport welcomed the Commission’s decision, which constitutes “a major step forward in the policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions”. The Brussels decision “will allow new steps to be launched in the effective banning of airlines when there is an alternative of less than 2h30 by train”said Clément Beaune.

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