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New UK-France air routes, EU checks alert: 9 France journey updates

We have a look at the tales affecting journey to, from and round France this week.

New air routes introduced together with UK locations

A number of airways have introduced new routes from French airports, together with to British locations.

Low-cost airline Ryanair has introduced 5 new winter routes from Bordeaux-Mérignac, to Barcelona, ​​Malta, Tenerife, Santiago de Compostela and Birmingham.

That is the primary time that Santiago de Compostela has been served from Bordeaux and passengers will be capable to journey on Mondays and Fridays.

Flights to Birmingham will run on Thursdays and Sundays. This winter schedule will final till the tip of March.

Ryanair may even be launching a brand new hyperlink between Leeds-Bradford and Perpignan, which is able to run between June 1 and October 26 on Mondays and Thursdays.

The Irish airline would be the just one working this route.

Air France has additionally introduced that it will likely be bringing again its Paris-Charles de Gaulle – Hong Kong route from January 9, 2023.

This service was suspended because of the Covid pandemic, however will now return with three flights per week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

EU international locations predict lengthy ready instances with new border checks

EU member states are warning of considerably elevated ready instances for vacationers when the bloc’s Entry/Exit System (EES) is launched subsequent yr, in accordance with feedback compiled by the Basic Secretariat of the Council of the EU.

This comes as French airports additionally warn that the implementation of the system will probably be “sophisticated” and lead to longer queues at border management for non-EU arrivals.

Learn additionally: French airports worried about extra waiting due to EU Entry/Exit plan

Read also: New EU border checks for entry to France: plans at standstill in UK

EES, which is set to come into effect in May 2023, will record at the border their name, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial images) and date of place of entry and exit, automatically calculating the amount of time they are permitted to stay in the Schengen area.

The collection of biometric data will only happen on the first occasion that someone enters the EU (after the new system launches). The information will then be saved for three years. Officials have suggested that distinguishing between those who need to record their data and those who do not – including EU citizens and permanent residents – may cause confusion and delays.

In addition, from the end of next year, when a person travels to, for example, France from outside the EU, they will need to apply for prior entry authorization through Etias via an online form. Etias will then check their details against EU information systems.

This will cost €7 for authorization lasting three years, with under-18s and the over-70s exempt from paying.

EU member states’ feedback on EES system tests run so far suggest that border processing times will increase. Germany, for example, warns that some of its airports will need to find ways to increase their immigration check capacity.

Austria has said that waiting times will double when the biometric system comes into force.

The Slovenian authorities, meanwhile, have predicted that the introduction of EES will mean that passport checks take four times longer than they do now.

EU countries have, however, largely stated that they are planning to automate border controls by using e-gates, which should speed up the process somewhat.

Single sail and rail ticket deal for young Ireland-France passengers

Young people will be able to travel to France from Ireland on a single sail and rail ticket from next summer, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said.

In this way, young passengers would be able to go from Dublin to Paris on one ticket on trains and ferries.

“Our officers have been working on that and we’ve a very ambitious target of hoping to do it next summer, but we have to work hard to make systems work in relation to that. That is a sustainable way of travel into the future, it dovetails into the climate agenda,” Mr Martin said.

The ages at which people will be able to benefit from this scheme have not yet been confirmed.

TGV fares to rise by 5% but some offers to be retained

TGV high-speed train ticket prices will increase by 5% on average from January 10, 2023, because of the increasing cost of energy, French rail operator SNCF has announced.

This rise will affect last-minute tickets, the most in-demand routes and business journeys.

Intercités tickets for first class, Liberté, business and Max actif subscription fares will also be 5% more expensive if the state votes in favor of this change.

However, SNCF Voyageurs is also putting in place a ‘bouclier tariff‘ (price cap) on the cheapest TGV Inoui and Ouigo tickets, which will not be included in the price rises.

The capped prices which are guaranteed for people who hold a carte Avantage or a Max jeunes or Max senior subscription will not increase either.

“We are facing a significant rise in our costs by 2023, of around 13%, most notably as a result of the rising cost of energy,” SNCF Voyageurs CEO Christophe Fanichet said.

He added that the operator will absorb half of these increased costs, which equates to hundreds of millions of euros, to “protect buying power” and “maintain the attractiveness of train travel”.

“Our objective is that more vulnerable groups and young people are protected” from price increases, he said.

From February 1, the rules surrounding ticket exchanges and refunds will also change. From that date, exchanging a ticket will cost €19 from one week before departure.

Alain Krakovitch, director of TGV Intercités has said that the objective of this new rule “is to free up places early enough that other customers can buy them.”

The relaxation of the exchange and refund rules during the Covid crisis – when it was free to change one’s tickets up to three days before the journey – led to a surge in the number of trains departing with a large number of empty seats, SNCF Voyageurs has said.

This comes as a new study reveals that SNCF costs French taxpayers €18.5billion each year, or €276 per resident. This represents a 10.8% increase in taxpayer funding since 2020.

40,000 extra tickets for trains to Strasbourg Christmas market

SNCF has released 40,000 additional tickets for passengers wishing to travel to Strasbourg for the city’s famous Christmas markets, which open today (November 25) and will last until December 24.

Some 15,000 extra tickets will be available from Paris, and 25,000 from Lyon, Nantes, Marseille and Bordeaux collectively.

This represents a 15% increase in the number of tickets available, with many of the extra seats falling on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Train comes off rails in Occitanie, services suspended

An incident in which two wagons of a freight train were derailed at Carcassonne has led to the suspension of all trains between Narbonne and Castelnaudary until Saturday at the earliest (November 26).

The 2 automobiles broke away from the opposite 26 being transported by the practice round Trèbes, and when the practice braked at Carcassonne station it hit the platform and brought on appreciable harm.

It isn’t but recognized how the accident occurred however there isn’t a suspicion of foul play.

Rail substitute bus companies have been put in place for passengers needing to journey between Narbonne and Castelnaudary, on Intercités trains between Marseille and Bordeaux and TGVs between Toulouse and Lyon.

Lyon metro line B challenge reaches necessary milestone

Work on an extension to Lyon’s métro line B between Gare d’Oulins and Hôpital Lyon Sud is to achieve a key milestone on Monday (November 28), with the welding of the ultimate stretch of the monitor.

The extension challenge started in 2018, and the brand new part of the road is ready to be in operation by the tip of subsequent yr.

After the tracks are accomplished, engineers might want to set up signaling and safety gadgets to information the automated trains, a activity which is able to take a number of months.

This will probably be adopted by trial runs on the road in spring 2023, and a public launch later within the yr.

Some 180,000 folks journey on-line Seashore day. This new extension will probably be 2.4km lengthy and can have price practically €400 million by the point it’s completed.

100 new self-service bag drop machines at Paris airports

Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports are to put in greater than 100 new self-service bag drop machines over the approaching months, so as to reply to the surge in passenger demand following the Covid disaster.

These new machines will be part of the 360 ​​already in operation, and can imply that passengers will be capable to drop their baggage utilizing self-service at greater than half of check-in desks.

Aéroports de Paris has stated that this can “scale back queues and enhance the efficiency of the airports”.

A self-service bag drop usually takes 37 seconds to finish on common.

How a lot will a Navigo move price from 2023?

The month-to-month price of Navigo passes for the Paris transport community is ready to extend in 2023, the president of the Ile-de-France area Valérie Pécresse has stated.

The precise worth rise has not but been confirmed, however BFMTV stories that the fee might rise to €80.80 or to €90. The month-to-month fee is presently €75.20.

To maintain the rise as little as potential, Ile-de-France Mobilités wants better funding from native authorities, and Ms Pécresse has stated that the area’s communes have agreed to place their contributions up by 7.5%. Ms Pécresse has additionally referred to as on the state to spice up its funding.

An announcement on the ultimate worth is to be confirmed on December 7, with assurances already made that the value won’t rise as excessive as €100.

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