France's National Assembly has voted to ban short-haul flights on routes that can be reached in 2-1/2 hours or less by train, but it may not be as big a deal as it sounds.
The bill, which requires a vote in the Senate and a final vote again in the Assembly, is part of France's plan to reduce its carbon output by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. But the law is being criticized by both airlines and environmental groups.
The airlines say they are suffering enough with the pandemic and don't want to be barred from any possible profit, although the government has offered a new plan to inject another four billion Euros into Air France.
The environmentalists object to the exclusion of transfer and hub airports—specifically Paris Charles de Gaulle—because the exclusion means that only four routes in the entire country are banned: four from Paris/Orly to provincial cities and one from Lyon to Marseille. They are proposing that the ban should cover flights where the train would be under four hours.