France’s National Assembly has approved a draft law that would see
internal flights on certain routes banned where an alternative to travel by
rail taking less than two and a half hours is available. The proposed law would affect routes between
Paris and Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, for example.
France’s Citizens' Convention for Climate, a consumer group that provides
guidance on how the country can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, had called for the
ban to apply to flights where rail alternatives of less than four hours exist. However, the transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said this would not be fair on landlocked regions such as the Massif Central.
The vote was carried by 56 votes to 14. The National Assembly is the
lower house of France’s parliament and the law would have to be ratified by the
upper house, the Senate.
At the start of the pandemic, Air France received a bailout from the French government that was conditional on it not competing with the country’s high-speed train services on journeys under two and a half hours.