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Why airline companies want you to go by rail

Nowadays, some of the airline companies see a very huge hope in embracing the rail-oriented gear switch. KLM already announced its partnership with Thalys and NS, both European train companies. This is to replace one of its daily trips between Amsterdam and Brussels with a high-speed rail. The same plan goes with Austrian Airlines as it starts offering AlRail. This is in partnership or codeshare with OOB, the country’s national rail operator. Lufthansa Airlines was also able to collaborate with Deutsche Banh, Germany’s train network.

People are still thinking if these plans initiated by airline companies are made for the sake of the environment due to their huge contribution to the carbon footprint. Still, there’s a concrete business rationale behind all that.  With such replacements of the short-haul flights, it frees up the landing and even the departure spaces at every busy airport which can be further used for more profitable long-haul services.

According to Mark Smith, a train expert and at the same time founder of rail route encyclopedia (The Man in Seat 61) sees that replacing short-haul flights with train services combines a good PR as well as hard commercial reasons since it’ll be freeing up the long-haul slots and also helps in lowering their carbon emissions.

KLM insists that their company is doing such a replacement that can help with long-term sustainability and at the same time meet their goal to fly responsibly. Also, the campaign advises every passenger to pack light and help the environment by offsetting the carbon emissions of their travel. By eliminating one of its five short-haul flights commencing at Schiphol Airport, it will reduce carbon emissions by 35% by 2030. This is part of KLM’s dedication and commitment to driving a sustainable future for aviation.

People nowadays, especially in the UK are now choosing to travel via rail over flight. Virgin Train, United Kingdom’s West Coast railway line which offers train services between London and Glasgow were able to note a 29% increase in 2019. The travel time is roughly 4.5 hours given the 400-mile route. If you’re flying, it will only take you about an hour and fifteen minutes. If you were to compare the price, it’s just relatively close. The flight from Amsterdam to Brussels via KLM is just around 45 minutes with carbon emissions of 83.8kg while the average high-speed train time is one hour and thirty-five minutes with just 5.8kg carbon emission.