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British tourists issued Spain holiday warning over new plan to ban certain flights | Travel News | Travel


British tourists planning to travel to Spain for a holiday are being warned the country is banning some short-haul domestic flights as part of its plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Flights offering a rail option that completes the journey in under two and a half hours will now be restricted, “except in cases of connection with hub airports that link with international routes”, it has been reported.

The restriction comes from an agreement in Spain’s Congress by the government. Spain has been thinking about banning such flights since 2021 to help the environment by 2050.

This move follows France’s ban on short domestic flights if they can be done by train in under two and a half hours, which started in May 2023.

The agreement between the political parties PSOE and Sumar also looks at what might happen if private jets are used less and considers a European Union rule about taxing energy products like kerosene, which is used for planes, reports Euronews.

Initially, Sumar leader Yolanda Díaz’s draft proposal aimed to eliminate short-distance flights with train alternatives of less than four hours, but this has now been reduced to two and a half hours.

According to a study released last year by Ecologistas en Acción, the initial proposal could have reduced up to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and eliminated 50,000 flights annually.

This coalition of environmental organisations suggested that 11 air routes could be replaced by train journeys under four hours, resulting in a nearly 10 percent reduction in Spain’s CO2 emissions.

However, the report primarily focused on flights to and from Madrid, many of which may not be affected by the current ban as it primarily targets domestic flights and Madrid serves as an international airport.

Similar to the measures implemented in France, the actual number of flights affected by these measures might be minimal.

Opposition parties the People’s Party (PP) and Vox oppose the ban, with Vox stating that it would harm Spain’s competitiveness.

PP member Guillermo Mariscal argued that he finds the initiative ineffective, as data from the College of Aircraft Engineers (COIAE) suggests it would only lead to a 0.06 percent reduction in emissions.

Last year, COIAE issued a statement expressing disagreement with a proposal to restrict flights under three hours, asserting that it would have minimal impact on carbon emissions. They cautioned that the significant damage to Spain’s air transport industry would outweigh the limited benefits.

The timing of the measures’ implementation and the affected routes remain uncertain. The ban must undergo several additional stages of amendments before Senate approval and eventual enactment into law, it has been reported.



This story originally appeared on Express.co.uk

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