France is on a mission to cut down on carbon emissions through travel. The European country is banning domestic flights in areas with a train alternative. The decision, approved by the European Commission, applies to routes with a train that takes less than two and a half hours to get to your destination. 

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Routes affected

According to the European Commission, trains must have several daily direct, high-speed rail connections available to quality. 

Three routes are affected between Paris Orly Airport and Bordeaux, Nantes, and Lyon. Airlines will be banned from flying domestically between those destinations. Other routes could be banned in the future, such as between Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Rennes and Lyon and between Lyon and Marseille. These routes will only be allowed if rail services improve. “They [the routes] do not make it possible to get to [the airport]…early enough in the morning or to depart from there late enough in the evening,” says the European Commission. 

The European Commission wrote in its ruling, “Future improvements in the rail services, with services operating at sufficient frequencies and suitable timings, in particular for the purposes of connecting flights, will enable these air routes to be banned.”

How long will the ban be in effect?

Trains France
Photo by Alice Triquet on Unsplash

The ban will last for three years, and after two years, there will be a review. 

Traveling around Europe by train is one of the best ways to explore the continent. There are many high-speed routes between major cities and countries in Europe. The French railway company SNCF and their German counterpart are working on a new high-speed connection between Paris and Berlin. This route will be a direct link between both cities in only 7 hours. 

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