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PARISAir France set to scale down its domestic network drastically to cut costs and reach the C02 emission reduction required by its bailout deal. Many of these routes from Paris to be replaced by Trains.



Air France has been offering a Flight + Train service for some years now, connecting several destinations to its hubs in Paris. However, the airline’s €7bn ($8.3bn) bailout package last year orders it to lessen its environmental footprint considerably.

According to the bailout conditions, Air France cannot offer domestic flights that are less than 2.5 hours with high-speed TGV trains. It means Air France will have to drop routes like Paris Orly to Lyon, Bourdeaux, Nantes, and more. However, connecting flights through Paris CDG are still allowed under the rules, keeping some services in the air.

Air France, however, doesn’t see it as completely negative. The carrier operated its domestic network at a loss of €200mn ($238mn) in 2019, finding it hard to compete with the cheaper and efficient rail network in the country.

Speaking at CAPA Live this week, Air France CEO Anne Rigail said:

“About the restructuring of the French domestic market, it was totally necessary due to the big losses that we had even before the crisis. And of course, with the crisis, it’s all the more urgent to restructure this network…[To do this] We are developing intermodality with the railway company SNCF. We have stopped all loss-making routes that were departing from Orly on point-to-point domestic French routes.”

While Air France is scrapping several routes, its subsidiaries are making adjustments too. Air France HOP!, the regional subsidiary of the French flag carrier, will focus on creating a European hub from Charles de Gaulle and a domestic hub from Lyon.

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