Air France’s ‘Train + Air’ program reaffirms commitment to environmental sustainability, says GlobalData

The recent expansion of Air France’s ‘Train + Air’ program highlights its strong commitment to environmental sustainability. As passengers increasingly demand more environmentally friendly travel options, the airline is protecting its future revenues by establishing meaningful solutions, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Gus Gardner, Associate Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Although it is not a new scheme, Air France’s expansion highlights the serious steps the carrier is taking to reduce its carbon emissions. Air France has committed to reducing its domestic flight emissions by 50% by 2025 from 2019 levels and these steps are vital to achieving this. Seven additional routes were added and 18 are now bookable. Offering a single ticket, loyalty points, and connection protection, the airline has made an environmentally friendly program extremely attractive to passengers, while creating an intermodal transport operation fit for the future.”

Travelers are increasingly likely to be influenced by how environmentally friendly a product or service is. GlobalData’s Q1 2021 Consumer Survey revealed that 76% of global respondents are ‘always’, ‘often’, or ‘sometimes’ influenced by this factor, rising to 78% amongst French respondents.

Gardner continues: “Air France has recognized the increased possibility that passengers will switch to more environmentally friendly travel options on short-haul routes, especially rail, given that the flight shaming movement has gained momentum across Europe. This industry-leading strategy will pay dividends in protecting the carrier’s brand image for years to come, while reducing its flying activity.

“Many of the carrier’s long-haul routes rely on domestic feeds from regional airports, and this scheme ensures it does not lose these much-needed passengers. By acting proactively in the theme of sustainability, the carrier will establish a strong presence in this trend before its competitors and could become the intermodal transport operator of choice within France.”

According to GlobalData, rail travel was the second most popular transport choice, behind road, for domestic trips within France in 2019 utilized for 17.4% (29.3 million) of trips. By 2025, GlobalData forecasts that rail will account for 18% of domestic trips, totaling 31.4 million trips.

Gardner adds: “Rail travel has gained popularity recently, and with an extensive high-speed network across France, it is set to become more popular. With the short-haul market likely to take the biggest hit in the years to come, especially with the French Government mulling bans on certain domestic routes, this smart strategy will ensure Air France is viewed as an intermodal transportation leader. The expansion to Air France’s ‘Air + Rail’ program further reinforces the serious steps the airline is taking to become more environmentally friendly, while allowing the company to be seen as a progressive entity that genuinely cares about sustainability.”

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