France voted over the weekend to ban domestic flights on routes where a train journey will take less than two-and-a-half hours. The decision is part of a wider climate bill that aims to cut carbon emissions by 2030 to 40 per cent of 1990 levels. But the day before the vote the government also agreed to bail out Air France to the tune of €4 billion.
Speaking to Europe 1 radio, Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher dismissed criticism from the aviation industry that now was not the time to further hamstring domestic flights and denied that the the new climate measures contradicted the government’s decision to bail out the national airline.
“We know that aviation is a contributor of carbon dioxide and that because of climate change we must reduce emissions,” she said. “Equally, we must support our companies and not let them fall by the wayside.”