London-Paris flights boost, holiday traffic: 8 France travel updates

We also look at a proposed €10 TGV service, Ryanair’s offer to Wizz Air passengers and how ferry traffic is booming between Cherbourg and Ireland

We look at the news affecting travel to, from and around France this week
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This week we looked at where drivers are most likely to have an accident in France, how long you can park a car in the same spot without getting a fine, and SNCF releasing its international summer train tickets.

We take a look at what other travel news is affecting France this week.

Road travel updates

Busy roads forecast on Saturday

Credit: Bison Futé

The end of school holidays in Zone B (Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Caen, Lille, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Reims, Rennes, Rouen and Strasbourg) means many holidaymakers will be on their way home this weekend, and roads will be busier-than-usual in many areas.

This weekend is also the end of Belgium's Carnival school holidays so traffic is forecast to be heavy near the northern border with Belgium and the Alps’ ski resorts.

Saturday, March 9 will be particularly busy on Alpine routes, in the Rhône Valley and on roads in eastern border regions according to France’s official traffic monitoring site, Bison Futé. Motorways serving mountain resorts such as the A40, A43 and N85 will also be busy.

Read also: MAP: Where are drivers most likely to have an accident in France?

Rail travel updates

TGVs between Lille and Paris for less than €10 could run by 2028

French high-speed train start-up Kevin Speed signed a deal with rail operator SNCF this week that could see it offer low-cost train travel connecting Paris to three major cities.

The deal secures access for the company’s ‘ilisto’ service from Paris to Lille, Strasbourg and Lyon from 2028.

The deal could see tickets for as little as €10 for a high-speed journey from Lille to Paris, Lille Actu reports.

The lines will also serve intermediary stations that could include:

  • Lille Flandres – TGV Haute-Picardie – Paris Gare du Nord

  • Strasbourg – Lorraine TGV – Meuse TGV – Champagne-Ardenne TGV – Paris Gare de l’Est

  • Lyon Part-Dieu – Mâcon-Loché TGV – Le Creusot-Montceau-Montchanin TGV – Paris Gare de Lyon

Read more: Train e-ticket travellers fined in France for not carrying ID

Transport Ministry releases map to show which busy transport to avoid during Olympics

France’s Transport Ministry has released an interactive map allowing visitors to Paris to plan their travel before, during and after this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The map will show, hour-by-hour, how busy roads and public transport are in the capital, helping travellers plan their quickest route.

It will also forecast which metro lines are likely to be busiest, so travellers can check where to avoid.

Read more: Paris Olympics’ official posters: no French flag but homage to UK town

Ferry travel updates

Cross-channel ferry traffic between Cherbourg and Ireland breaks new record

The number of people sailing between Cherbourg and Ireland broke a new record in 2023, with some 325,566 passengers travelling the route, an increase of 19% over a year.

Ireland accounted for 60% of the ferry traffic from Cherbourg in 2023 spread across the three ferry companies that sail the route, Irish Ferries, Brittany Ferries and Stena Line.

Air travel updates

Ryanair launches ‘rescue fares’ for Wizz Air passengers

The withdrawal of Wizz Air from the Nice-London route has been seized upon by rival low-cost airline Ryanair, which is offering affected passengers ‘rescue fares’ on the route from £24.99 or €29.29.

Wizz Air, a Hungarian low-cost airline has cancelled over 80 routes across Europe in 2024, including routes to Albania, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, and Slovenia.

“Ryanair yet again saves the day following Wizz Air’s sudden and surprise closure of its London – Nice route for Summer ’24,” announced Ryanair’s head of communication Jade Kirwan.

Three French airports see Paris Orly routes scrapped

Air France is to end its routes between Paris Orly and Nice, Marseille and Toulouse.

It comes after it scrapped routes between the Paris airport and Montpellier and Bordeaux in 2021.

The airlines said in a press release it had seen a drop in domestic air travel departing from Orly of 40%.

Added to changing habits, such as fewer people commuting for work due to the rise of home-working, the French government has been encouraging people to take the train rather than fly for domestic journeys.

Lufthansa City Airlines to launch with flights to Bordeaux

Lufthansa City Airlines will launch out of MunichFranz Josef Strauss International Airport this summer with flights to destinations including Bordeaux as well as ones in the UK and Germany.

The airline is expected to expand its network across Europe in the following months.

EasyJet increases number of flights between Southend Airport and Paris this summer

EasyJet has announced it is increasing the number of flights between Southend Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle between July and August.

It will operate an extra Sunday service in addition to its current Monday and Friday flights over the two-month period, which coincides with the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The low-cost airline also announced a new route to Iceland starting on September 3, flying to Reykjavik from €52.

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