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The recent expansion of the Air France ‘Train + Air’ programme 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.
Although it is not a new scheme, Air France’s expansion of its ‘Train + Air’ programme 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 programme extremely attractive to passengers while creating an intermodal transport operation fit for the future.
Environmental friendliness is swaying purchasing decisions
Travellers 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.
Air France has recognised the increased possibility that passengers will switch to more environmentally friendly travel options on short-haul routes, especially rail. The flight shaming movement has gained momentum and passengers are more likely to shift away from flying. This industry-leading strategy to provide vital connectivity while reducing its flying activity will pay dividends in protecting the carrier’s brand image for years to come. Many of the carrier’s long-haul routes rely on domestic feeds from regional airports and this scheme ensures it does not miss out on these much-needed passengers. By acting proactively on 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.
Intermodal travel positive for short-haul sustainability
According to GlobalData, rail travel was the second most popular mode of transport, behind road, for domestic trips within France in 2019 and was utilised for 17.4% (29.3 million) of all trips. By 2025, GlobalData forecasts that rail will account for 18% of domestic trips, totalling 31.4 million trips.
Rail travel has gained an increasing level of popularity recently and with an extensive high-speed rail network across France, it is set to become even 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, smart strategies like this will ensure Air France is seen as an intermodal transportation leader. Air France has uniquely integrated an interline agreement approach, offering passengers an enhanced level of protection in comparison to booking separately. Guaranteed seating on the following rail or air service if a connection delay occurs, one booking reservation and loyalty points on offer are all attractive perks for passengers.
The expansion to Air France’s ‘Air + Rail’ programme further reinforces the serious steps the airline is taking to become more environmentally friendly. With French passengers now strongly influenced by environmentally friendly products and services, the programme is a step in the right direction to meeting these needs whilst allowing the company to be seen as a progressive entity that genuinely cares about sustainability.
This article first appeared on www.railway-technology.com
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