European Commission Approves France’s Ban on Some Short-Haul Flights

The European Commission has approved the French government’s ban on short-haul flights, as long as a viable rail alternative is available.

France initially included the ban in a 2021 climate law, but its legality was challenged by French airports and airlines.

However, the European Commission has now published its decision to accept the ban on routes with a regular and direct train alternative of two and a half hours or less.

The European Commission has also limited the current ban to a three-year time period, mandating that it is reviewed after two years.

France Short-Haul Flights
The ban will apply to three short-haul routes operating out of Orly Airport

Although French lawmakers originally proposed to cut eight internal flight routes, only those from Paris Orly Airport to Nantes, Bordeaux and Lyon were confirmed to provide the required rail services. These three routes will be prohibited for any airline.

If rail services improve, routes from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Lyon Saint Exupéry could also be added, as these airports are served by high-speed rail stations.

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