Air France must not compete with SNCF’s TGV

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Interesting development in France.

    I believe it’s the first time anywhere in the world where state aid has been granted on condition that the national airline does not compete with rail (on short HS rail for point-to-point travel).

    Air France told not to compete with the TGV


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Makes sense I guess?


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Makes sense I guess?

    I think it does LP. Makes sense on environmental grounds.

    And especially considering SNCF needs all the revenue it can get.

    Lockdown costs SNCF €2 billion in revenue


    WinnipegMax
    Participant

    Well; a good idea, but as with many governmental approaches to business, it is like a gorilla playing dominoes.

    I frequently travel YWG YYZ CDG TLS (business class), but with restricted CDG TLS service, will likely now travel via AMS. Although there may be some flights, the waits will be longer, and after twelve hours to Paris, I am disinclined to head into the city, change stations and go south on the train, however much I like trains. Even if there were direct service from CDG to TLS, at the end of a long journey, I simply want to connect …

    And I suspect that there are many international travellers like myself. Trains are great, but they are not seamless; there are some good services, but many that are simply an irritant at the beginning or end of a long international journey. And, of course, unless they are part of a comprehensive AF through fare, there is no contract to allow rebooking in the event of the inevitable strikes.

    So farewell AF – Hello KLM or worse for them onto the Star Alliance –


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    WinnipegMax –

    As you will read in the copy it would not affect your travel plans for TLS (Toulouse).

    The move applies only to short journeys by rail. In other words 2.5 hours or less by TGV.

    Paris-Toulouse by train typically takes around 4.5 to 5 hours.

    But the govt realises the importantce of domestic feeders and so these rules, if and when introduced, will not apply to those short flights carrying connecting passengers.


    transtraxman
    Participant

    @AMcWhirter #998446

    “….if and when introduced, will not apply to those short flights carrying connecting passengers.”
    That is a fine political statement but I do not see how it is going to be put into effect.
    On flights to/from LYON or STRASBOURG etc. are those who are only flying from/to PARIS not allowed to board a flight? Does AF only have to accept a connecting passenger for those wishing to fly only to PARIS? Or does this mean there are no flights in and out of those airports to Paris, full stop? How do you keep a route profitable?
    Which leads us to the question of inter-regional flights. Are these permitted unless it can be shown that there are fast regional, inter-city, or TGV trains that can serve the interconnecting cities under the time limit?
    This all seems like bureaucracy gone mad.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    CDG is one of the rare airport with a high speed train station. It is one thing to land at LHR, take the HEX to go to Paddington, take a cab or the tube to the relevant station, take the train to Manchester or Leeds. It is another one to land at CDG, walk to the TGV station and head to Lyon 2 hours later. That said, I doubt the French government will be able to implement trafic restriction, excepted may-be in few occasions.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    On flights to/from LYON or STRASBOURG etc. are those who are only flying from/to PARIS not allowed to board a flight? Does AF only have to accept a connecting passenger for those wishing to fly only to PARIS? Or does this mean there are no flights in and out of those airports to Paris, full stop? How do you keep a route profitable?

    In fact Strasbourg-Paris air service was axed since TGVs began operating over LGV Est.

    Lyon-Paris was the original TGV route. It was supposed to eliminate air travel but, as I noted in the Comments section, air service remains.

    Air France operates rail-air service on both the above.

    https://www.airfrance.co.uk/GB/en/common/resainfovol/avion_train/reservation_avion_train_tgvair_airfrance.htm

    I wonder how many domestic routes in Europe are profitable ?

    Yes I am sure LCCs can make money on them. But for conventional carriers like Air France, BA or Lufthansa they are feeders for profitable international routes. We covered this in a previous domestic aviation feature in the magazine,

    I could see air service from Nantes and Rennes being cut (as was the case with Strasbourg) but problematic in the case of Bordeaux. Even though HS rail service has been improved (and TGVs take just over two hours) I was surprised to see how many flights remain.

    A flight reserved for connecting passengers would surely be open to all carriers and not just AF and Skyteam members.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    One month ago we reported that “Air France told not to compete with the TGV.”

    News from France is that Ben Smith CEO of AF/KL has agreed to drop many domestic routes so that AF receives its Euros 7 billion state aid package.

    Air France agrees to cut many domestic flights


    toukyoumaster
    Participant

    I support this decision in theory. The move only covers flights which can be replicated by direct train service between cities (or for CDG it’s about trains to the airport due to connecting flights problem) and it’s fairly simple to change from flight onto rail at CDG due to the direct high-speed rail links to most major cities. The only problem that I foresee is the lack of simple air-to-rail luggage transfer solution, though this has been achieved in some places like Hong Kong.


    Andrew
    Participant

    Air to rail and rail to air ticketing has been in operation through CDG for many years – it’s known as tgv’air, to about a dozen domestic destinations.
    I happened to be at CDG’s TGV station late one afternoon and saw TGV 9872 come and go on its way between Brussels Midi and Strasbourg.
    It is also Air France flight AF 7186 between Brussels and CDG, and Air France flight AF 7107 between CDG and Strasbourg.
    There was much loading and unloading of checked baggage from the front car (where the AF reserved seats are) but I’m not sure exactly what the arrangements for baggage are these days – information welcome.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Andrew – Thank you for the feedback.

    Business Traveller published an air-rail feature [paywall] a couple of years ago and naturally we featured the Air France product.

    The service continues to expand:

    https://www.airfrance.co.uk/GB/en/common/resainfovol/avion_train/reservation_avion_train_tgvair_airfrance.htm


    canucklad
    Participant

    Trains are great, but they are not seamless; there are some good services, but many that are simply an irritant at the beginning or end of a long international journey.

    Ahhh, that nirvana that we all dream of……a seamless totally integrated transport system!!

    For those of us based here in the UK, can you imagine rocking up to your local station, opting for the air-rail carriage and handing over your luggage to the conductor.
    Leaving you to get on with your life until you’re reunited with it at your destination on the other side of the world!

    Jeez -just seen a large pink mammal float past my upstairs window !!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    It works in Switzerland, as you would expect, and is a huge bonus for rail travellers. I believe SNCF have a similar service, I’m not sure I’d trust them not to be on strike, or just to lose it.


    jjlasne
    Participant

    There is no longer any need for short-haul flights since high-speed trains are faster, less polluting and arrive directly into city centres with no need for an airport shuttle ride.

    Most French airlines offer online transfers/correspondences at CDG to TGV service. In the case of Corsair and FrenchBee/Blue, transfers at Orly can be made to a low-cost airline such as easyJet.

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