New UK Airline, Paris-Berlin TGV: Eight France Travel Updates

We take a look at the stories affecting travel to, from and around France this week.

Will the SNCF remove trains this winter to save energy?

The government has asked SNCF to reduce its energy consumption this winter, but not to reduce its services, despite a report published in Le Parisien suggesting that timetables could have to change in the event of a power shortage.

The government said reducing the number of trains in circulation would only be a “last resort”.

Transport Minister Clément Beaune and Ecological Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher asked the rail operator in July to reduce its energy consumption in order to contribute to an overall reduction of 10% across the country.

The SNCF has its own “emergency plans in the event of a serious problem” such as a lack of energy supply, “but this is separate from energy saving measures and does not correspond to a specific government decree”, a said the Ministry of Transport.

The SNCF consumes between 1% and 2% of France’s electricity consumption, ie the equivalent of the cities of Paris and Marseille combined.

Transport expert Arnaud Aymé told Franceinfo that there are other ways to save energy than removing services from the timetable.

“We can think of reducing the amount of energy consumed in boiler rooms, heating industrial buildings – which are numerous – or even varying the lighting.”

Drivers can also use a special tablet to make braking and accelerating smoother.

Flybe launches seasonal Birmingham-Geneva service

Flybe has announced the launch of a winter route between Birmingham and Geneva in December.

The services will be available from December 17 to March 25, with two flights per week.

EasyJet and Jet2 also offer services on this route.

Flybe CEO Dave Pflieger said: “We are delighted to strengthen our network by adding this fantastic destination to our winter schedule.”

Flybe closed in March 2020 before being acquired in April 2021 and resuming operations in April this year.

Paris-Berlin TGV confirmed for 2023

The new direct TGV service between Paris and Berlin will start operating in December 2023, SNCF and Deutsche Bahn have announced.

Read more: A new TGV will connect Paris to Berlin in seven hours

The journey will take about seven hours.

SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou said the service “makes sense because we see people accepting [the idea of] take longer and longer journeys.

“There are really people who are ready to spend five, six or seven hours on a train.

“Few years ago [people] found it too long and we were afraid of not having anyone [on the trains]. There are more and more people now for whom this is not a problem, which is good!

Read also: Planes, trains, cost, carbon – how do you travel to and from France?

SNCF and Deutsche Bahn are planning a test of the route through Frankfurt, using German high-speed trains.

If successful, a second test will take place with French trains.

This project is accompanied by the Paris-Berlin night train project, which should also start in 2023.

More Transavia flights between Orly and Brest this winter

The low-cost company Transavia will not offer flights between Paris-Orly and Brest this winter.

The airline has operated the route since March 2021, with up to two daily flights, but it no longer appears on the timetables after October 30.

Transavia said it made this decision due to the “lack of profitability of the line, which has an occupancy rate of less than 30%”.

People who usually use this service will still be able to travel with Air France between Brest and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are normally several flights per day on this route.

This comes as EasyJet announces the opening of a new winter route between Paris-Beauvais and Lisbon.

Aéroports de Lyon is accelerating eco-responsible projects

Lyon’s two airports have implemented new measures aimed at reducing their carbon emissions, including the planting of 3.7 hectares of trees in the Forêt départementale de la Pyramide (Rhône).

“This carbon sink will help trap residual emissions from Lyon airports,” specifies Aéroports de Lyon.

Last year, the group created another carbon sink of 3.6 hectares in the Cantinière forest.

It has also signed a new partnership agreement with the Rhône Chamber of Agriculture to “locally develop devices for trapping greenhouse gas emissions”.

Aéoports de Lyon manages both Lyon-Bron and Lyon-Saint Exupéry, which aim to become the first French airports to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2026.

They have already halved their emissions since 2016 through increased use of green energy and biogas for heating terminal buildings.

New study on a potential Bordeaux metro

The town hall of Bordeaux has commissioned a new study on the possibility of creating a metro to serve the agglomeration.

The study, which will be launched at the end of the year, will examine the cost, viability and potential carbon footprint of such a project, the results of which will be published in 2023.

The news was announced by Clément Rossignol-Puech – the vice-president of the town hall in charge of transport – who wrote a letter to Métro de Bordeaux, an association which has been campaigning since 2018 for the construction of a metro network in the city. town.

The organization said the message was “a real surprise”.

An initial study on the possibility of a metro service in 2019 deemed the project “feasible, viable and relevant”, but the idea was later abandoned as the cost was deemed too high.

Métro de Bordeaux estimated that the construction work would cost 1.4 billion euros.

“We hope that the results of this study, if they are positive and indisputable – particularly in terms of carbon emissions – will empower elected officials.”

Start of production of the new Brittany Ferries vessel

The first steel on Brittany Ferries’ new Portsmouth-St Malo vessel was cut this week, in the first stage of replacing the company’s oldest vessel, Bretagne.

The new ship will be called Saint-Malo, and will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and batteries, which will make it hybrid.

Once development work has been completed in Portsmouth and St. Malo, the vessel will be emission-free when plugged into an electrical outlet. It will also be able to sail on battery power, switching to LNG when that power supply runs out.

Saint-Malo is the third LNG-powered ferry to join Brittany Ferries’ fleet, and a fourth will be built to replace Normandie on the Portsmouth-Caen route from 2025.

Read more: The “zero particle” ferry begins to sail between Marseille and Corsica

A record 54,500 pets travel through Eurotunnel in August

The number of pets traveling via Eurotunnel reached a record 54,501 in August, bringing the summer total to 98,000.

Since 2000, some 3.7 million pets have traveled on board the Le Shuttle service. Eurotunnel is likely to be an attractive option for families traveling across the Channel as their pets can stay with them throughout the journey.

Eurotunnel charges £22 per journey for pets, including dogs, cats and ferrets.

Rabbits, rodents, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles can also travel provided they have a veterinary certificate.

When traveling from the UK to the EU with a pet, it is necessary to have an animal health certificate or an EU pet passport if you live in the bloc or can stay for more than three month.

Read more: Can I get a rabies vaccination in the UK for a European Pet Passport issued in France?

Read more: Travel to France: what are the rules for traveling with a pet?

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