An ad for Eurostar is ironic about the greening of aviation and provokes the anger of the sector

The subsidiary of the SNCF mocks the carbon footprint of the plane on the Paris-London link. A humor very little appreciated by the actors of the air.

The SNCF does not hesitate to highlight its low carbon footprint compared to the plane. Sometimes with malice. In an advertisement, Eurostar – known for its caustic campaigns – mocks the promises of the air sector: “Of course the airlines are green” can we read before seeing below “(jealousy)”.

And to explain that on the Paris-London link, a plane trip emits as much carbon as 14 Eurostar trips.

This humor was very little appreciated by the aerial actors. During a round table during the Paris Air Forum organized by The gallery last week, Alain Battisti, President of the National Federation of Merchant Aviation, wondered if it was “stupidity or provocation”, according to proposals reported by TourMag.

“We would have better play electric trains”

And to assert: “When we are in a situation like the SNCF with new competition which ridicules the company on a historic link, the first French TGV line Paris-Lyon, we can play better with its electric trains rather than be interested in competition that is not direct!”.

Yet a follower of good words, Marc Rochet, boss of Air Caraïbes underlines that “the SNCF is experiencing a serious event today, it is the trial of Brétigny. (…) The humor practiced by these marketing people is not at all up to par. I do not expect humor when the SNCF costs the French State every year 16.7 billion”.

Pascal de Izaguirre, CEO of Corsair, reacted as a candidate for SNCF’s carbon footprint “which we are presented with as a model of virtue”.

“I think it’s biased and truncated, he summarizes. The SNCF in France is a diva, the sacred cow that we do not attack. I would like to have transparency on this balance sheet. We , air carriers, we are constantly in the crosshairs and the eternal scapegoat”.


A dezincification continued by Thomas June, President of the Union of French and Francophone Associated Airports, “there is no ecological means of transport today. The SNCF wants to present itself as a white knight of ecology, this n is not true”, referring in particular to the maintenance of thousands of kilometers of tracks of the operator with chemicals which would have an impact on soils and biodiversity.

The hatchet is therefore far from being buried between air and iron. It must be said that the atmosphere is at loggerheads since Jean-Pierre Farandou, boss of the SNCF demanded more taxes for his competitor.

“It’s not the train that is too expensive, it’s the plane that is not expensive enough,” he explained to the National Assembly’s Sustainable Development Committee.

“Are we charging the cost of its carbon impact to the plane ticket or not?, he asked. I don’t understand why airlines are exempt from any tax on kerosene. I pay taxes, on my energy, on my diesel I pay taxes…”

Remember that the European Commission is seeking to introduce a kerosene tax that hit airlines.

Olivier Chicheportiche Journalist BFM Business

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