Air International 2007-10
B.Walters - Air versus Rail - Is air transport losing out to the trains? /Commercial/
With the increasing number of high speed trains services in Europe, airlines are facing more competition on some routes. A growing number of people are taking into account their own 'carbon footprint' and train companies are keen to promote their 'green' credentials compared to travelling by air to win over passengers. Shown is an Air Berlin Airbus A320.
Air France is one airline which has had a number of its routes affected by high speed rail services due to the TGV in France, Eurostar serving Paris from London and Thalys offering a connection from the French capital to Brussels. This A320 is one of the aircraft types that the carrier uses on services which are competing with high speed trains.
One of the advantages of travelling by train is that railway stations tend to be located in the centre of a city, whereas airports can be in the suburbs. In addition, some low-fare carriers fly to secondary airports that can be some distance from the main city destination. One such airline is Ryanair that serves a number of this type of airports, such as Brussels South Charleroi and Frankfurt Hahn.
Ryanair has stuck to its business strategy since adopting the no-frills approach and has reported some impressive profits. The airline continues to grow, with an ever-expanding route network and fleet of Boeing 737-800s.