In Spain, the government may impose restrictions on short-distance domestic flights, according to a coalition agreement between the Socialist Workers’ Party, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and the far-left party Sumar, as reported by Politico.
This initiative entails the cancellation of domestic flights if there is a viable alternative by train, taking less than two and a half hours. Sumar’s leader, Yolanda Diaz, emphasized that the train should become the 21st-century mode of transportation, and short domestic flights should come to an end.
One of the goals of this campaign is to discontinue flights from cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, and Seville to Madrid. Currently, these routes are serviced by airlines like Iberia, Vueling, and Air Europa.
As for other domestic routes, such as Barcelona to Seville, the train journey takes more than five hours, so these plans will not affect them.
Non-governmental organizations and campaign supporters express concern that Spain’s efforts might prove as ineffective as France’s measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions on short-haul flights. Last year, France approved a similar decision, but it only applied to three routes: flights between Paris-Orly and the cities of Bordeaux, Nantes, and Lyon. The European Commission stated that such rules could be implemented only when there are genuine railway alternatives for the same route, including multiple direct connections in both directions every day.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Lufthansa has announced the creation of a new airline called City Airlines, which plans to operate medium-haul flights from Munich and Frankfurt starting in the summer of 2024.
According to the strategy of the German national carrier, the subsidiary City Airlines will provide passenger transportation to key airports, where travelers can then transfer to long-haul flights operated by Lufthansa.
Coalition parties in Spain aim to form a new government by November 27. Sanchez’s party is striving to retain power and has reached an agreement with Catalan separatists regarding amnesty for those involved in the 2017 independence attempt. This move has garnered public criticism, leading to protests in Madrid against the amnesty plans for Catalan separatists at the end of October.
Source: The Gaze