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A climate change first: French lawmakers vote on bill to ban ultra-short-haul flights

April 11, 2021
2 min read
Air France 777's at The Gate at CDG
A climate change first: French lawmakers vote on bill to ban ultra-short-haul flights
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France is one step closer to banning its shortest flights.

French lawmakers in the National Assembly voted on Saturday to prohibit domestic flights on all routes that could be covered by a train in less than two-and-a-half hours, Reuters reported.

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The ban on ultra-short-haul air travel is part of a broader climate bill meant to help the nation cut its carbon emissions by 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels.

The bill passed despite criticism from both sides, with the aviation industry saying that during the pandemic is the wrong time to limit the hard-hit airlines, and environmental campaigners arguing that the ban is inadequate.

Agnes Pannier-Runacher, the French Industry Minister, dismissed the airline criticism, according to Reuters. The French government more than doubled its stake in Air France last week, announcing it would contribute to a 4 billion euro ($4.76 billion) recapitalisation of the airline to help it through the rest of the pandemic.

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On the other side, a climate forum established by French President Emmanuel Macron had pushed for more extensive bans, with flights prohibited on routes that would be under four hours by train.

More: Rolls-Royce and Scandinavian airline Widerøe say they can have an electric plane in service by 2026

Those campaigners may have a point. The bill would exclude connections and hubs — such as Paris Charles de Gaulle — and would effectively prohibit just five out of 108 domestic routes that airlines flew before the pandemic. Those routes are:

  • Paris Orly-Rennes
  • Paris Orly-Nantes
  • Paris Orly-Bordeaux
  • Paris Orly-Lyon
  • Lyon-Marseille

The law is not yet finalized — it next goes to the French Senate before a third, final vote in the National Assembly. So it remains to be seen whether it passes in its current form.

Featured image by (Photo by hanohiki/Shutterstock)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more