Business Travel Management
Rail Wins With New Short-Haul Flight Restrictions in France

Rail Wins With New Short-Haul Flight Restrictions in France

Samantha Shankman

7 Dec 2022
3 minute read
Aerial view of high-speed railroad tracks in the countryside.

France is changing regional travel in an environmentally conscious way: Starting next year, some short-haul flights on routes with regular rail connections are restricted.

Not only are +74% of frequent business travelers comfortable traveling by train, but business travelers are now more frequently booking rail over air travel. Rail bookings made on TripActions in Europe have averaged 28% month-over-month growth in 2022.

France restricted short-haul domestic flights to discourage unnecessary air travel and encourage more sustainable options. The original proposal was announced in 2021 and mandated that all flights be banned between destinations with an existing rail connection of less than two-and-a-half hours.

The European Commission approved the plan this week, but only for routes between Paris Orly airport and Lyon, Bordeaux, and Nantes. The Commission considered rail a valid alternative when there were several direct connections each way every day.

The ruling is expected to go into effect in 2023, and the list of restricted flight routes could be extended as the country’s rail connections grow. The next destinations under consideration for restriction are Paris Charles de Gaulle-Lyon, Paris Charles de Gaulle-Rennes, and Lyon-Marseille

This is the first ban of its kind in Europe. However, there is debate about whether countries can legally enforce a ban on short-haul flights. Greenpeace has previously pushed the EU to ban all flights with a rail alternative that is under six hours in duration. 

“This is a major step forward, and I am proud that France is a pioneer in this area,” France’s Transport Minister Clément Beaune said in a statement.

TripActions offers rail coverage throughout France with multiple carriers.

Making the Sustainable Choice Easy

Road warriors love business train travel for many reasons: the ease of purchasing tickets, the comfort onboard, the ability to work or rest the speed, and the sustainability factor. But they expect the same experience that they now receive from consumer booking apps for rail.TripActions makes that possible.

Train booking features on TripActions include:

  • Access to train routes, times, cabins, and seats
  • Ability to book for yourself and colleagues
  • Railcards can be added, making trains a more competitive solution
  • Option to mix fares and classes when booking
  • Select e-tickets or collect from any ticket machine
  • Tickets auto-sync with itinerary and calendar
  • Free 24/7 global support from live agents

“We know how important sustainability is to our customers, and we have built an amazing rail experience that gives our customers the very best inventory coverage across Europe. So, where there is the option to take a train over a plane, it’s a seamless booking experience,” said Stephanie Weaver, Director of Rail Partnerships at TripActions.

In addition to providing the broadest possible selection of travel options, TripActions continues to invest in rail to increase sustainability and decrease the environmental effects of travel. 

In 2019, TripActionsbegan offering customers the ability to opt-in to receive carbon impact data. In 2021, it introduced a sustainability suite of real-time data, tools, and information to further track and reduce carbon emissions. With access to this new information, organizations can truly harness data to make insight-driven decisions that minimize their carbon footprint and offset what can not be reduced.

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