Are the days of short-haul flights in Europe numbered?

are the days of short haul flights in europe numbered

You may have read the story: “France bans short domestic flights where passengers can take the train.”

The article by my colleague Helen Coffey describes how the French government made a €4bn (£3.5bn) recapitalisation of Air France contingent on cutting flights on routes where a rail journey taking less than two-and-a-half hours was feasible.

Now a group that promotes rail travel, and in particular “open access” train operators, is calling for the concept to be extended.

Allrail, the Alliance of Rail New Entrants, says flights on European routes where trains can cover the same ground in four hours or less should be grounded.

Anything that broadens the climate debate is to be welcomed, and this is certainly a radical policy which will find some favour with environmentalists – as well as people who live near busy airports and see dozens of very short-haul flights arriving and departing daily.

But I cannot see any prospect of lawmakers adopting such a policy – because of its unintended consequences.

Take a couple of rail journeys where at least one trip a day is at or below the four-hour threshold: Frankfurt to Berlin and Edinburgh to London…

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