The plane is increasingly less popular among the French

According to the latest economic barometer carried out by Odoxa for AGIPI, Challenges and BFM Business, the percentage of French people who travel by plane at least once a year falls to 26%.

It represents just 2 to 3% of CO2 emissions worldwide, but aircraft are now considered a major contributor to global warming. In France, in particular, its image is deteriorating more and more and many would be willing to accept it less, for example, preferring the train.

Will Europe impose a minimum price on airline tickets?

This is one of the conclusions of the latest economic barometer* carried out by Odoxa for AGIPI, Desafios and BFM Business.

Thus, the percentage of French people who travel by plane at least once a year falls to 26%, a drop of 4 points since last January.

73% of people aged 25 to 34 are ready to fly less

Above all, “59% of French people say they are even less willing to fly so that France can save energy and 20% say they are already doing so”, we can read.

This desire is strongest among young people aged 25 to 34 who fly at least once a year. 73% agree to limit this use. It is also significant among CSP+ (63%) and executives (65%).

Among the most committed, 31% say they are ready to follow the example of professor-engineer Jean-Marc Jancovici, who recommends limiting the number of plane trips in a lifetime to 4.

Even among those who fly more frequently (at least every month), 73% are willing to limit this use, the study suggests.

On limited trips to France, the desire to abandon the plane in favor of the train is even stronger, as 79% of executives join (53% already do so), as do 72% of young people between 25 and 34 years old or 89% of those who fly every month or almost every month.

This study coincides with that of the Pégase Chair at Montpellier Business School dedicated to the economics of air transport published last May showing that “12% of those who have ever taken a plane in their lives say they feel embarrassed when using this means of transport”.

Those who have flown in the last 12 months are willing to make efforts to reduce plane consumption: they estimate that they will reduce the number of flights by 14.5% over the next five years.

Traffic that, however, continues to increase

If this questioning of air travel is in tune with the times, it is, however, contradicted at the moment by the numbers. At a global level, the milestone of 4.35 billion passengers should be exceeded this year. A level close to the 2019 record (minus 4%).

Last August, according to data from the World Air Transport Association (IATA), traffic was 95.7% of that observed in August 2019. This is an increase of 28.4% compared to August 2022.

In France, Parisian airports found In August last 94% of its passengers from the same period in 2019. In Orly, this level was even exceeded with a rate of 111% compared to 2019.

After the covid crisis, the thirst for travel remained very strong around the world, but also in France. Can we then speak of a gap between will and facts?

This is what it suggests an Ipsos survey carried out for the Alliance France Tourisme and whose results were transmitted by JDD last May.

According to the latter, the car and the plane, for example, continue to be the preferred means of transport for young people aged 18 to 34 to go on holiday: 65% choose the first and 54% prefer the second. However, more than half of them say they always or often choose their mode of transport based on its impact on the environment.

French economic morale is rising
Despite a very anxiety-provoking international context, the economic morale of the French improved by 2 points, appearing to be “slowly recovering from the crises of September (inflation) and October (Hamas attacks)”, explains Gaël Sliman, president of Odoxa.
22% of French respondents say they are more confident about France’s economic future, compared to 78% who are less confident (-2 points).

*: Survey carried out among a sample of French people interviewed online on October 31, 2023. Sample of 1005 French people representative of the French population aged 18 and over. The representativeness of the sample is ensured by the quota method.

Olivier Chicheportiche BFM Business Journalist

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