German railways and Lufthansa want to lure 4.3 million flight passengers onto trains
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn and the country's aviation industry have agreed on a plan to shuttle around 20 percent of domestic flight passengers with trains in order to protect the climate, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The medium-term target is to transport 4.3 million of today's domestic flight passengers by train, which will be achieved by making rail traffic between cities more attractive and improving connections at airports. New direct high-speed train connections will launch with a new timetable in December, offering additional alternatives to domestic flights. Deutsche Bahn manager Ronald Pofalla called the plan "active climate protection." Domestic flights' share of Germany's total CO2 emissions could be lowered by a sixth, according to calculations by the rail operator and the aviation industry.
Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa already offer 134 feeder connections per day from 17 German cities to Frankfurt airport, and plan to expand the network this year. In 2019, the aviation industry carried 23 million air passengers on domestic connections, of which 8 million were in feeder flights and 15 million purely domestic flights, according to the article. Environmentalists have criticised the fact domestic flag carrier Lufthansa will continue to operate domestic flights despite fast-train connections existing on the same route. They have also called for abolishing all domestic German air traffic in order to reduce emissions.