Air Fares (North Atlantic)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th March 1973.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Warren Mr Kenneth Warren , Hastings 12:00 am, 19th March 1973

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will refuse landing rights to United States airlines in the United Kingdom until the United States authorities accept the principle of price competition between scheduled airlines operating across the North Atlantic.

Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking

No, Sir. The United States airlines which provide scheduled services to the United Kingdom enjoy rights to do so provided that they comply with the terms of their authorisations under the Air Service Agreement, which include an obligation to apply fares approved by the two Governments.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Warren Mr Kenneth Warren , Hastings

Can my hon. Friend tell me why they should have the right to exercise a veto over what we want to do?

Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking

My hon. Friend is mistaken if what he says is intended to apply to scheduled fares. He will understand that tariffs on scheduled services are normally controlled by requirements which must be approved by the Governments at both ends of the route.

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that above all things we must try to avoid a landing rights war? Can he tell the House whether the Government have received any intimation from the CAB or any of the individual States that landing rights will be denied if a different fare structure operates? Further, can he say whether the CAB or any of the individual American States has yet denied landing rights for Concorde?

Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking

I know of no such denial of landing rights having been communicated to us.

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham

Does my hon. Friend agree that the price competition going on in this area includes a substantial element of reduction in real prices of air fares? Will he support the notion that that should not take priority over the reduction of aircraft noise as an item affecting price?

Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking

I am well aware of my hon. Friend's anxiety to see that aircraft noise is reduced. One way in which this can most effectively be achieved is by allowing airlines the finance to re-equip themselves with quieter aircraft.