Constantly trawling Skyscanner and Google Flights for a bargain holiday deal?
Well soon, travellers across Europe could be forced to say au revoir to super cheap budget flights thanks to France and its proposed minimum flight price policy.
French transport minister Clément Beaune expressed that super-cheap flights are no longer a responsible transport option, citing the climate crisis. In his view, the prices that low-cost airlines offer ‘don’t reflect the price for the planet’.
In May 2023, France similarly banned short-haul domestic flights in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. Flights are now banned between destinations where there is a train that takes under two-and-a-half hours.
For many, short haul flights aren’t just a quicker option than other modes of transport – they’re cheaper too.
This summer, research from Greenpeace concluded that travelling by train across Europe can cost between two and four times as much as flying. In analysing 112 European routes connecting major cities, 79 out of the 112 routes were cheaper to fly.
France’s initiatives could soon become a reality in the UK, too. Possible, a charity campaigning to speed up climate action, is pushing for a frequent flyer levy, a move that would ‘ensure the wealthy minority of frequent flyers pay more, unlike ordinary people who don’t fly often.’
A recent report from the charity found that achieving a lifetime membership status of a frequent flyer programme could involve the emission of over 1,800 tonnes of greenhouse gases per person.
‘We need urgent action to protect the climate, but frequent flyer reward programmes are sending emissions soaring in the wrong direction’, Alethea Warrington, senior campaigner at Possible, said.
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