asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether, in view of the substantially lower running costs of the turbo-prop airliner, such as the Britannia, as compared with the United States turbo-jet airliners, he will give a general direction to British Overseas Airways Corporation to seek the agreement of the International Air Transport Association to permit it to charge fares that are related to the running costs of these airliners.
In the absence of actual experience of long-range turbo-jet aircraft in passenger service, it cannot yet be established that the costs of operating long-range turbo-prop aircraft are, in fact, substantially lower. British Overseas Airways Corporation informs me, however, that, if it is established that a sufficient difference does exist, it will, of course, consider the question of differential fares.
Does not my right hon. Friend agree that one of the outstanding characteristics of these airliners is their economy of operation, which could be still further exploited with the removal of the tariff which gives unfair advantage to our American competitors?
I think that the answer is in my original Reply, where I said that B.O.A.C. would be only too willing to put forward a case for differential fares, but, of course, it must have the facts for comparison, and they cannot be had until these new long range turbo-jets are in operation.