News Digest: €10 Train Tickets and Is France Banning Cheap Flights?



News Digest: €10 Train Tickets and Is France Banning Cheap Flights?

Western France is facing a late-summer heatwave, SNCF has announced another flash sale, and does the French transport minister want to ban low-cost flights? Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Record temperatures

Record temperatures swept the country in time for La Rentrée, France’s nationwide return to school or work, which took place yesterday (Monday, September 4th). The wave of hot weather is set to last throughout the week, with temperatures expected to hit 30°C or more all around the country. This time, western France is set to see the highest temperatures, particularly in the Garonne, where temperatures climbed to 39°C yesterday.

You can keep an eye on the latest conditions and canicule (heatwave) warnings on the Météo France website here.

2. Will low-cost flights be banned in France?

France’s transport minister, Clément Beaune, has made headlines yet again as he continues his crusade to encourage more environmentally friendly travel. Just a couple of weeks ago, he announced that France plans to increase taxes on airline tickets in 2024, and last Thursday, speaking to L’Obs magazine, he stated that during France’s “transition écologique(the ecological transition needed to reach the country’s goal of zero emissions by 2030) low-cost airlines offering “plane tickets for €10” would “no longer be possible”.

Although this implied ban on budget flights has not been confirmed – and it is not yet sure exactly what such a ban would entail – Beaune did say that he wished this to be a Europe-wide initiative and that he would be discussing it with his European counterparts in the coming days. Passing such a law through the European Court would likely be a long endeavour, but with the EU already looking at increasing limitations or taxations on air travel for environmental reasons, it will be interesting to see what support these discussions yield.

3. Flash sale on French train tickets

SNCF has announced the latest in a series of flash sales concerning tickets for popular OuiGo (SNCF’s low-cost train service) railway routes. The sale will start tomorrow, Wednesday, 6th September, and will apply to tickets between Paris and Lyon or Nantes between 11th September and 9th December, 2023. 100,000 tickets will be on sale at the bargain price of €10, with thousands more on sale between €16 and €19, in celebration of OuiGo’s 10th anniversary.

The sale will continue through to Thursday, 7th September, but available tickets often sell out within a matter of hours, so we recommend booking as soon as possible. Head to the OuiGo website here to purchase your tickets.

4. Our experts answer your moving to France questions

From applying for a French visa to enrolling in the French healthcare system or exchanging your driving licence – there’s lot to do when you move to France. That’s why we’ve put together a special edition FrenchEntrée webinar: Your Moving to France To-Do List: Visas, Healthcare, Paperwork.

I’ll be joined by an expert advisor from relocation specialists, Please Help to talk you through all the official steps you’ll need to take to set up your new life in France. There will be plenty of opportunities to put your questions directly to our expert, and you can also send them to me in advance at [email protected].

Join me on Thursday, 21st September, at 2:00pm GMT+1 (London time) 3:00pm (Paris time) – sign up for free here.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  •  Bill
    2023-09-05 06:45:41
    Brilliant - So Beaune already admitted the ban on short flights will have no measurable impact on CO2 as all air traffic globally contributes less than 2% of CO2, but he will expand the ban just to virtue signal while forcing the French people out of the safest means of transportation to use less safe transportation. I guess he feels blood is more environmentally sound. Can someone remind me how the Minister gets around? Welcome to France the Modern Feudal State.