United States, Bahamas and Bermuda (Air Traffic)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th April 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough 12:00 am, 15th April 1964

asked the Minister of Aviation what proportion of the air traffic from the United States to the Bahamas and Bermuda, respectively, is carried by British airlines.

Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Preston North

In the last 12-month period for which figures are available, British airlines carried 31 per cent. of the air passenger traffic between the United States and Bermuda and 48 per cent. of that between the United States and the Bahamas.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

Is it not rather unsatisfactory that we should have such a comparatively small part of this lucrative, rich tourist trade? Has not the Minister been somewhat remiss about negotiating these traffic rights, particularly in the Bahamas?

Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Preston North

On the contrary, I would have thought that it was remarkable that we should be able to carry this amount of traffic from the United States to the two Caribbean terminal points, considering the advantages which the United States would normally derive from having initiated a great part of the traffic.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

Does not the Minister negotiate these matters on a quid pro quo basis, as he does traffic rights with other countries? Why should we not have an equal share of the traffic rights with the United States?

Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Preston North

We have done our best to secure the greatest possible share, and a large part of the traffic goes from this side of the Atlantic as well. However, a large part goes from the United States and it is very much to the credit of British operators that they have been able to carry so many American passengers to the Caribbean Islands.

Photo of Mr Frederic Bennett Mr Frederic Bennett , Torquay

While endorsing everything that my right hon.. Friend has said, may I ask whether he does not think that more publicity could be given to the fact that on direct flights from this country to the Bahamas and to Bermuda no less than 25 per cent. can be saved if a British airline is used, a fact which is not sufficiently well known?

Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Preston North

I hope that my hon.. Friend's question will be seized on, because he is quite right.