France and Germany have announced plans to move away from short-haul domestic flights in favor of sustainable ground transportation options. The transition is part of a growing movement across Europe to combat travel pollution by increasing innovation and investment in sustainable mobility solutions.
As identified in a draft of the European Commission’s Green Deal, hyperloop innovation is a component of this effort. At HyperloopTT, we are pioneering sustainable transportation and applaud the decision-making and collaborative approach being undertaken to begin the transition to a clean energy future.
Germany is moving 4.3 million domestic flights to rail
The Association of the German Aviation Industry and Deutsche Bahn signed a joint action plan to reduce CO2 emissions. The joint strategy aims to transition the majority of domestic flights to rail through a series of phases meant to increase the speed and availability of sustainable ground transport options.
Germany’s largest airline, Lufthansa, will expand the routes offered by its subsidiary Lufthansa Express Rail to provide increased connection to international flights, reducing dependence on airplanes to move passengers between major international aviation hubs.
Five German airports already implement intermodal connections between local and long-distance options, while a further seven are currently highly integrated with local service. The joint plan supports increased investment in solutions that seamlessly merge sustainable long-distance ground-based options with international flights.
France is suspending air routes that can be made in under two and a half hours by train
French lawmakers voted to ban short-haul flights that can be replaced with train-based alternatives in under two and a half hours. The concept, which as currently applied does not include connecting flights, was initially introduced in 2019 to transition to sustainable ground-based options capable of completing the route in under four hours.
The decision to decrease the ban from four hours to two and a half is controversial, but the ban itself is a major step in the right direction as it will begin changing societal norms to promote sustainable intermodal travel options.
Currently, France has the third most high-speed rail options in the world, behind China and Spain, and will serve as a crucial demonstration of the ability for societies to adapt travel behaviors to promote increased environmental responsibility.
Hyperloop’s role in supporting a transition to a net-zero world
Hyperloop is a sustainable ground transportation option capable of decreasing travel times from hours to minutes. HyperloopTT systems use renewable energy, are highly efficient, and in operations can potentially generate more power than they consume.
Both as a company and a technology provider, HyperloopTT is committed to developing sustainable transportation solutions and has solidified this commitment by joining the UN Global Compact for Sustainable Business Development. Every day, HyperloopTT engineers advance the development of breakthrough innovation to support the international community’s sustainability goals.
The world is moving toward a net-zero transportation future. We applaud the diverse international efforts accelerating global sustainability goals and look forward to working with fellow pioneers to create the world we want to live in.