‘That won’t mirror the selling price for the planet’: France wishes to place a quit to mega low airfares

France’s Transport Minister says he will suggest a least flight cost coverage to the EU.

France’s Transportation Minister has said he will propose that the EU brings in a least price tag on flights to cut down carbon emissions.


Clément Beaune says he desires to “combat from social and environmental dumping” and that “€10 plane tickets isn’t possible any more”, referring to very low-charge airline fares. He claimed a mega very low ticket price tag “doesn’t mirror the cost for the earth.”

But are a lot more high-priced flights the remedy to reducing aviation’s carbon footprint?

Regular flyers are disproportionately accountable for emissions

“Anything that tends to make airways spend a fair share of the environmental value that they create is a fantastic point”, suggests Jon Worth, travel pro and founder of Trains for Europe campaign.

“But we really should be dealing with regular flyers and this does not offer with them. It might reduce pleasant metropolis weekends for some individuals but it is really not going to end or lessen this normal traveling elite.”

In France, 2% of persons acquire 50 % of all flights, in accordance to exploration posted by the weather campaign group Doable. 15% of Brits choose 70% of flights and 8% of the Dutch just take 42%.

Over-all, 37% of Europeans have hardly ever travelled outside their have place, in accordance to a 2014 European survey. This statistic does not directly relate to air journey but offers an notion of how quite a few Europeans fly.

European teach tickets are twice as costly as flights

On typical, European educate tickets are two times as high-priced as flights, in accordance to a Greenpeace report from July. 

Only 12 educate traces have been located to be speedy, reliable and less costly than flights, about the 112 most crucial routes analysed by Greenpeace.

In May well this calendar year, France brought in a ban on some domestic flight routes. Flights that could be replaced by prepare journeys getting considerably less than 2.5 hours ended up impacted. But owing to caveats, this kind of as trains not operating late adequate at evening, the ban only applies to 3 flight routes- Paris Orly to Bordeaux, Lyon and Nantes.

Climate activists and organisations criticised the French authorities declaring the ban doesn’t go considerably plenty of to make a dent in aviation‘s carbon emissions.

Furthermore with Beaune’s concept, trains not currently being up to scratch qualified prospects travellers to decide for flights. 


“If you want to fly from Paris to Barcelona or from Paris to Frankfurt, the teach potential on these routes is way too reduced”, states Jon Value.

“These sorts of steps are sticks, but we deficiency carrots, incentives to make people today improve their conduct”, regrets Jon Value.

Jon Well worth also points out that Beaune is inaccurate in saying you can just take a €10 flight. Minimal charges for a solitary ticket a single-way including all taxes typically hover all over €40 and €50.

Options: Creating a recurrent flyer levy, eliminating limited connecting flights

In the Uk, a “frequent flying levy” has been debated for several years. Tax charges would enhance primarily based on how quite a few flights you choose in a year. “The initial flight’s tax is extremely reduced and it goes up with each individual flight”, points out Jon Truly worth.

But this is nonetheless a “stick” measure. 


In Germany they have been seeking at means to cut brief domestic routes. “If you travel from Stuttgart to Singapore but the only immediate flight leaves from Frankfurt, Germany will put that traveller on a coach linking Stuttgart to Frankfurt”, suggests Worth.

The difficulty is that some nations like France still deficiency a connected up system. In France, you can only join TGV INOUI large-velocity trains to Air France flights. “In Germany, you can just take a Deutsche Bahn prepare to an EasyJet flight”, states Well worth.

Will EU nations support Beaune’s proposal?

“It is a incredibly normal French shift, a really Macron go. Tactically talking, it’s not the greatest way”, tells Value. “Germany is not going to be really eager mainly because of its liberal transportation minister, Spain will maybe be a lot more intrigued, the Netherlands way too, aside from them, it is really tough to say.”

Ryanair’s Chief Govt has been very hostile to similar steps evaluating these types of moves as “North Korea-like charge regulate” when Austria announced in June 2020 it needed to prohibit airfares from remaining reduced than the actual taxes and expenses, i.e. an average of €40 per flight in this place.

Jon Well worth fears that the French Transportation Minister is searching for publicity relatively than authentic alter.


“The worldwide publicity of France’s quick flight ban was enormous. It was worthless! But it gave Macron superior global publicity, I am afraid Beaune is performing the similar point. That the actual implementation will have the exact same affect.”