According to a Greenpeace study: Wissing sees “unbeatable advantages” of flying

According to Greenpeace study
Wissing sees “unbeatable advantages” of flying

According to Greenpeace, air travel within Europe is usually cheaper than traveling by train. The NGO is calling for a Europe-wide kerosene tax to counteract this. Encouragement comes from Green politician Hofreiter. Federal Transport Minister Wissing draws different conclusions.

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing sees air travel as having an unbeatable advantage over rail travel. Rail traffic will always have a harder time compared to airplanes, Wissing told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “Anyone who wants to take the train to Spain or Portugal, for example, can quickly be on the road for more than a day and have to change trains several times. The plane has unbeatable advantages there.” The FDP politician was reacting to a publication by the environmental organization Greenpeace, according to which the train is often more expensive than the plane when traveling through Europe.

The transport minister explained that he is working with neighboring European countries to make cross-border rail transport more attractive. “However, this is not trivial: For example, there are different traction current and train protection systems in the individual countries, so that the locomotive has to be replaced every time at the border and the driver at the same time – because of different operating languages ​​and rules. In some countries there is a reservation obligation, in others not.” All of this affects the price. “It is all the more important that we become climate-neutral as quickly as possible when flying,” said Wissing.

Hofreiter: Lack of kerosene tax distorts prices

Greenpeace compared the ticket prices for planes and trains on 112 routes across Europe at several booking times. According to the organization, the train is 71 percent more expensive for customers than the more climate-damaging air connections. Of the 31 connections with start or end points in Germany, the train was more expensive in half of the cases. Greenpeace linked the study with the demand for a Europe-wide kerosene tax of 50 cents per liter.

The Green European politician Anton Hofreiter agreed with similar thoughts. “It remains a problem that climate-damaging subsidies and the lack of a European kerosene tax continue to distort prices,” Hofreiter told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “With the 49-euro ticket, traveling by train on regional trains has already become significantly cheaper. Now it’s time to improve long-distance transport as well,” Hofreiter demanded. “For this, massive investments must be made in the rail infrastructure in order to expand capacities and expand the range of services.”

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