Is the Minister telling the House that he has absolutely no say in the setting of air fares? Will he tell us what particular steps he has taken to do something about the excessively high level of fares in Western Europe? Has he suggested to his colleagues in the Council of Ministers that European rates should be declared a cabotage route?
The Air Service Agreement with other countries gives the Governments concerned the right to control air fares on the services they cover. Fares are normally agreed between IATA and submitted for approval to both sides. If either Government is dissatisfied, the matter is settled by negotiation. The question of European fares is under review in Europe. As the hon. Gentleman well knows, the CAA has recently given close attention to this, and I am awaiting its report.