Prove to me that he’s wrong here

“Be very careful with the French. You can always tell when the French are lying because their lips are moving,” he said.

As a general rule that seems to work. More specifically:

France is outlawing flights where the same journey could be made by train in under two-a-half hours. However, Mr O’Leary said the policy would have little effect except to strengthen the position of the country’s flag carrier.
“France is banning all domestic flights that are under 500 km – unless it is travelling on to a connecting flight through Paris Charles de Gaulle. So basically Air France will keep on flying, but everyone else will be banned.”

Protecting that domestic producer interest at the expense both of foreigners and, inevitably, all consumers.

Yes, Adam Smith liked the Navigation Acts but even Homer nods etc….

12 thoughts on “Prove to me that he’s wrong here”

  1. “Be very careful with the French. You can always tell when the French are lying because their lips are moving,” he said.

    Similarly, I liked the US Ambassadors’ comment re: the EU “If I asked them the time, they would say no”…..

  2. Steve across the Pond

    I saw this story a while back. The environmental cases wanted it to be train trips four hours or less.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    The German Greens proposed something similar at the start of the German election campaign, except that they didn’t limit it to internal flights. They lost quite a bit of their support when it was pointed out that you couldn’t take a train to one of Germany’s favourite holiday destinations for young people – Majorca.

  4. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    One of the least free markets in the west gets regulated in one of the least free markets in the west? Oh my.

    KLM used to make great business running connections from every little dirt strip runway in the UK, most of them too close to London for flights to London. And this is where this will end up – instead of people getting on a plane in Nuremberg or Stuttgart to connect in Frankfurt (a once highly convenient airport where you could reliably get from train to gate in 20 minutes, now mismanaged into complete chaos) they will get on a plane in Stuttgart or Nuremberg to connect in Amsterdam, Paris, or London.

    The fraction of a percentage point of carbon shaved off one of the smallest emitting, and obviously highest “bang for carbon buck” industries is so low as to be irrelevant.

  5. The rule in France is that flights are banned if the journey can be done by train in under 2h30. Not sure where this 500km figure comes from.

    Very much a rule written by bureaucrats though. Paris Montparnasse to Nantes is just over two hours by train; but Charles de Gaulle to Nantes is at least three hours. In practice the rule is already followed: the only passengers flying Paris-Nantes are those connecting with long-distance flights.

  6. Lot’s of posturing and protectionism in France right now; you’d think there was an election coming or something.

  7. The problem here is that it’s about french politicians.

    As opposed to british** politicians who never, ever, wouldn’t dare to annouce idealistic/insane/impractical/downright stupid promises/measures/proposed laws during Election Time.

    ** should be [insert nation here], but the blog’s commentard section being mainly british-ish…

  8. Hear, now, the wise words of Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (1815-1898):
    Nie wird soviel gelogen wie nach einer Jagd, im Krieg und vor Wahlen.
    (People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.)

  9. Protected producer interests do make lovely campaign contributions, pay huge lobbying fees, or even provide well paid sinecures for out of office politicians in return for such protection. It’s really not all that different from what small businessmen would pay the Mafia. If you can argue that you are providing such protections to save the planet, then so much the better.

    Funny, considering the hassles of flying these days with getting to the airport early, security checks, waiting for the flights, getting a rental car or cab at the other end, I’d probably rather take the train for a 2 1/2 hour trip, but this would make me want to fly.

  10. Nothing shows the security theatre aspect like traveling from a large city to a smaller destination and noticing the absence of the security rigmarole etc on the return journey.
    Also the mask unless eating/drinking rules for planes mean you really only have to wear them for take-off and landing or going to the toilet

  11. If it’s 2h30 rather than 500km then flights between most major cities excl Paris will still be on. Paris to anywhere major is pretty good by rail, but if you want to travel between two places neither of which are Paris and aren’t on the same line out of Paris, you SOL.

    I once looked up Bordeaux to Lyon by rail. The largest city in SW France to the largest city in SE France, ~260 miles as the crow flies. No direct trains. No change once somewhere on roughly a line between the two. Go via Paris, which is more than 260 miles from either of them.

    If you think that British establishment is London-centric (it is), try the French one and Paris — it ain’t called the Ile de France for nothing.

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