German Aviation, Rail Industry Want to Cut Back on Domestic Flights

April 16, 2021

Germany's aviation industry and main rail company said they will work together to get nearly one-fifth of passengers flying annually on domestic flights to switch to train journeys.

Deutsche Bahn and the German Aviation Association signed an action plan on the initiative in Berlin on Thursday.

Around 4.3 million flight passengers could be brought onto the rails every year, the parties said. That would be around 18 per cent of the domestic passenger volume of 23.9 million in 2019.

A precise time frame for achieving this goal was not given, but the plan contains elements for the next decade.

The short-haul action plan includes a growing range of feeder trains to Frankfurt Airport, the biggest travel hub in Germany.

Lufthansa and Deutche Bahn announced in March the expansion of their joint offer Lufthansa Express Rail, which will be expanded by five to 22 stations. Those stations serve as a "departure airport" and passengers are transferred seamlessly to Frankfurt Airport.

From December, there will also be additional sprinter trains, which feature fewer stops, to Frankfurt Airport.

The lack of long-distance train connections at the second-largest German airport in Munich is an area that needs to be worked on, Deutsche Bahn and the aviation association said.

The two parties rejected the idea of an outright ban on domestic flights to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as some climate campaigners have demanded.

©2021 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.