Aurélien Fleurot, edited by Romain Rouillard 06h23, March 19, 2023

Yet provided for in the 2021 climate law, the abolition of short domestic flights, when there is an alternative of less than 2h30 by train, is only partially applied. Only flights from Orly to Bordeaux, Lyon and Nantes have actually been banned.

It was a flagship measure, taken from the citizens' convention on the climate. The resulting law in 2021 provided for the elimination of domestic flights when an alternative of less than 2h30 by train existed. However, two years later, only three out of eight flights concerned have actually paid the price, namely Paris-Nantes, Paris-Lyon and Paris-Bordeaux from Orly airport.

In these cases, the alternative by train has allowed this evolution and a saving of 55,000 tons of CO2 according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC). However, these three destinations remain accessible by plane from Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, as does the Lyon-Marseille route. Thus, nearly 300 weekly flights are still maintained when they should theoretically be cancelled.

"We can nevertheless imagine that in the long term, this ban will be extended"

This reality is explained by the method of calculation of the famous 2h30 of journey. With regard to the destinations mentioned above, the railway station considered as the starting point is that of Charles-de-Gaulle airport and no longer a station located in the city centre. This mechanically increases the travel time.


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"It is difficult for the public authorities to go beyond the limit of 2h30 because a number of local elected officials and populations in the regions still wanted to have ease in taking long-haul flights but these are rather departing from Roissy. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that in the long term, this ban will be extended. But this would require an improvement in rail service to Roissy airport," says Arnaud Aymé, transport expert at Sia Partners.

These three lines, finally abolished, were in any case at the end of their life since the arrival of the TGV naturally reduced the attendance of these flights which represented only 0.3% of CO2 emissions from the metropolitan France.