Decree banning short flights in France published in the Official Journal

short flights in FranceThe decree banning short flights in France on routes that can be covered by train in less than two and a half hours was published on Tuesday in the Official Journal.

A flagship provision of the 2021 Climate Act, the ban on domestic flights when train travel is possible in less than two and a half hours has become law. The measure, which got the green light from the European Commission and the French Council of State, is the subject of a decree published on Tuesday in the Official Journal in Paris.

“Scheduled public passenger air transport services prohibited by Chapter II of Article L.6412-3 of the Transport Code are those for which a substitutable rail link provides, in each direction, a route of less than two and a half hours,” the text of the act states.

Short flights in France banned from 2021, but the measure has been challenged

This ban, which is provided for in the Climate and Resilience Act of 22 August 2021 and is already in force in France, was suspended pending an in-depth investigation by the European Commission, following a complaint from part of the airline industry, which considered it contrary to the principles of competition and unsuited to the fight against climate change. The ban does not cover connecting flights.

In December 2022, the European Commission approved France’s plan to ban short-haul air flights with rail alternatives, but only three routes will be affected. The original proposal, which required a green light from Brussels, was to affect eight routes.

The commission said the ban could only be put in place if there were real rail alternatives available for the same route – i.e. more direct connections each way every day. This means that only three routes will currently come under the ban: journeys between Paris-Orly and Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon.

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