Dutch train passengers up 13 per cent as ‘flight shame’ takes effect

International train travel in the Netherlands rose by 13 per cent in December 2019, after a year in which the flygskam, or flight shame, movement swept across Europe.

According to new figures from Dutch railway company NS, it sold 13 per cent more tickets for international trains in December year-on-year, totalling four million passengers, reports Dutch News.

Some international journeys received a particularly big boost, with passengers travelling from the Netherlands to Bordeaux, France, Milan, Italy and Barcelona, Spain increasing by 61 per cent, 56 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.

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A new direct link to Marne-la-Vallee, near Disneyland Paris, has proved popular, and both NS and Eurostar have their sights set on increasing services from London to Amsterdam to better compete with air travel.

However, the number of passengers flying into the Netherlands also grew last year.

Travellers flying in and out of the country’s five airports hit 81 million, an increase of 2 per cent from 2018.

Nine out of 10 passengers flew in or out of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, with the most popular journey being to or from London Heathrow, with 1.75 million travellers making this journey.

Conversely, the number of flights to and from Schiphol actually dropped slightly last year to 497,000.

A government advisory committee has said that Dutch aviation should not be allowed to grow further unless measures are taken to reduce nitrogen compound pollution.

It follows the news that the number of people flying in Sweden dropped by 4 per cent in 2019.

Official statistics from Sweden’s airport operator, Swedavia, show that more than 40 million people flew through the country’s 10 airports in 2019, a 4 per cent drop year on year.

In 2018, a record high of more than 42 million people flew through Swedish airports.

The decrease in 2019 was primarily in domestic travel, said Swedavia, and international travel decreased to a lesser extent.

In 2019, 12.4 million domestic passengers flew through Sweden, a 9 per cent year on year drop.

International traffic declined by 2 per cent to nearly 28 million.

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