Air France has been instructed by the government to scrap some of its domestic flights in order to secure a rescue plan in response to the impact of  COVID-19.

The country’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire stated on France Inter Radio that the operator should be “the most environmentally respectful airline.”

The government has approved a €7 billion loan to Air France, which has been hit hard by COVID-19. During the radio interview, Mr Le Maire said the coronavirus crisis provided an opportunity to “reinvent our model of economic development to ensure it is more respectful of the environment.”

He added that would mean a number of Air France domestic routes would need to go.

“It is obvious that today a number of domestic routes are no longer justified, ” he said without giving further details.

“When you can travel by train in less than two and a half hours, there is no justification for taking a plan.”

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