French parliament voted to suspend internal air travel on routes that can be covered by train on less than 2 and a half hours as a measure to help against polution and climate changes. This measure was initiated by the president Emmanuel Macron and it was approved by the parliament after a heated debate. This law will forbid the internal air travels on short distances and among the routes that will be affected are the ones from airport Orly in Paris to Nantes, Bordeaux and other nearby regions.
The commission for climate changes founded by Macron was recommending to ban all the internal flights on routes that can be covered by train if this kind of travel take less than 4 hours. In the form that was adopted by the parliament, the interdiction was reduced to 2 and a half hours after some regions and Air France-KLM, among other air companies, were against this measure because it will have a devastating impact on the industry.
One year ago, the french government approved a plan to borrow 7bn euros to Air France under the condition of this company to give up on some of their internal flights, but this new law will have an impact to all air industry, forbidding even low-cost companies to operate on certain routes.
French ministry of transportation, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, said in the parliament that the 2 hours and a half time frame was chosen because there was a risk of isolating some teritories that are hard to reach on. This law was adopted even if many parties were against it. The socialist politician Joel Aviragnet said that this law will have a terrible impact on people’s lives and warned that will lead to many people to lose their jobs in other work sectors too.
Others said that this 2 and a half hours time frame is too low and doesn’t bring any help to the initial project of fighting against climate changes.