Deutsche Bahn joins Star Alliance. Will the train replace planes?

Deutsche Bahn is the first non-aviation partner to join the Star Alliance on August 1, 2022. It brings together 26 airlines – from United Airlines, via Lufthansa to Air China.

Combined air and train tickets have been available in Germany for more than ten years. On the Lufthansa website, select one of the train stations as the start or end point of your journey. Then one of the stages of the journey, although carried out by rail, has a Lufthansa flight number, a the trip is treated as a whole.

utilities this solution will also be available to passengers on other airlines, including LOT Polish Airlines (owned by Star Alliance) on routes to or from Germany.

– From Freiburg to Singapore: one ticket is enough. With attractive connections within Germany and simultaneous connections to international travel chains, Deutsche Bahn and Star Alliance make an important contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector. The new partnership complements our successful partnership with Lufthansa Express Rail, where bookings have more than doubled since 2010. In this way we ensure that more people get off the plane and transfer to environmentally friendly railways – this solution was praised by Michael Peterson, member of the board of management of Deutsche Bahn, quoted in the press release.

This means, among other things, that we can buy a ticket for a flight from LOT Polish Airlines to Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich and travel further on the Deutsche Bahn train connection with one ticket.

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Also see: Bad habit of passengers on the plane

Train instead of plane?

Over the years it is proposed to replace short-haul flights with level crossings. This model should be one of the foundations of the planned Central Communication Port between Warsaw and ódź. – CPK is also an intermodal project. For example, passengers from Krakow would have to travel on intercontinental connections to STH. We want a passenger flying from Krakow to hand over and pick up their suitcase on the train to STH, for example in Sydney – said Rafał Milczarski, president of LOT Polish Airlines, during Congress 590 in October 2019.

The European Union is also developing a network of international rail links, A few years ago, the Air France-KLM holding replaced some of the flights between Amsterdam and Brussels with a rail connection† Both cities are just over 200 km apart.

PKP Intercity already started informing travelers in 2021 about the CO2 emissions of their train journeys compared to car and air travel. For example, on the Białystok-Warszawa Centralna route, it is 5.2 kg of carbon dioxide per passenger.

That is more than three times less than a car (18.8 kg) and eight times less than an airplane (44.9 kg) – calculated the carrier.

The Spidersweb service then pointed out that PKP Intercity has applied many simplifications in the calculations. In addition, the calculations are based solely on the length of the route. In addition, the plane cannot be an alternative everywhere – as on the previously mentioned route from Białystok.

Is the train instead of the plane really the start of a bigger trend? The aviation industry is undisputed.

The train will not replace the plane. This is a very good solution, but where there is a railway. In order for the train to be truly ecologically “clean”, it must be powered by green energy. It also does not take into account that the construction of a new railway will generate huge amounts of CO2 and cause significant disruption to the ecosystem – Sebastian Mikosz, senior vice president of the International Air Transport Association IATA, said in an interview with Money. pl.

The vice president of IATA and former president of LOT Polish Airlines also recalls that Europe is a continent very well connected by railway lines. – The biggest problem is not decarbonising Europe, but the whole world. I believe that the train is a very good mode of transport that works in tandem with the plane, but it will not replace it – he added.

In his opinion, airlines should make more efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. And at short distances this is possible thanks to alternative aviation propulsion systems.

– In the near future we will see VTOL (vertical take-off and landing), ie small aircraft that can take off and land vertically, where the electric propulsion will be useful. The airline Widerøe has already announced that it wants to fly only between the Norwegian islands with electric planes on routes up to 300 km. This is a fantastic project. It would be the world’s first zero-emission airline – Mikosz added.

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