France bans short-haul flights in favor of train rides
Freedom Friday: French government interjects itself in the economy, citing environmental reasons
France has banned short-haul flights, or those where a train could make the trip within 2.5 hours, per a report by the BBC.
An earlier proposal would have banned flights where a train could make the trip within four hours, according to the BBC report. But the timeframe was shortened at the protest of airlines.
While a consumer group has called for safeguards to ensure that train companies wouldn’t hike rates in response to the government-driven demand, the law has no such safeguards. There is nothing in place to stop an overnight rise in train prices.
Critics of the law question the environmental benefit of banning short flights.
Meanwhile the BBC reports that flights worldwide were down 42% in 2022 compared to 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now airlines in France will face government-induced drops in demand as they try to dig out of the pandemic.
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