France prohibits short flights: green light from the EU, but only if there is a train. Three sections at risk in Italy
Stop short flights, but only if there is a valid railway alternative. The European Union has authorized France to eliminate three short-haul airline routes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, provided that citizens are guaranteed an adequate train service.
In a decision of 2 December, now published in the European Journal, the European Commission has given its green light to the request to eliminate flights connecting Orly Paris airport with Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon, with savings in terms of emissions estimated by France at 55,000 tons of Co2. On the other hand, the request of the French parliament for five other routes was rejected. It will be possible to remove the sections from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to Lyon and Rennes and the one between Lyon and Marseille, only with an improvement in alternative train services, which will have to allow travelers to leave even in the early hours of the morning or late in the evening . However, it will not be possible to eliminate the sections from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Bordeaux and Nantes, the last two of the eight initially requested, because the journey time by train is more than two and a half hours.
Other conditions established by the commission are that the railway connection is guaranteed several times a day, without changing trains, that there are round trips on the same route, that the frequencies are sufficient and that the train timetables allow travelers to stay at least eight hours in the city of arrival.
“The negative effects of any restriction of traffic rights on European citizens and connectivity must be offset by the availability of alternative modes of transport at affordable prices, which are convenient and more sustainable”, explained the commission, which one year ago some reservations to the French plan, for possible distortions of competition. According to the European executive, any proposal must be “non-discriminatory, non-distorting of competition between air carriers and not restrictive of what is necessary to alleviate the problem”.
According to Il Corriere della Sera, the decision, if applied in Italy, would have repercussions only on three sections, those connecting Rome Fiumicino to Florence, Bologna and Naples.
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