Air Europe

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 11th March 1991.

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Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East 3:31 pm, 11th March 1991

Will the Secretary of State accept that the collapse of Air Europe and its parent company, although due partly to the economic recession and to the Gulf crisis, has also been brought about by the Government's disastrous aviation policies—[Interruption.] Well, is a boom. It has been brought about especially by the Government's new air traffic distribution rules, which will cause further chaos and decline in Britain's aviation industry. Does the Secretary of State agree that the collapse of Air Europe is likely to be followed—[Interruption.]—Conservative Members should stop giggling and start listening—by similar financial difficulties in other independent British companies? Does he agree that the collapse will have a serious effect on services from Britain's regional airports? When did the Secretary of State and the CAA know about the problems of Air Europe, and what did either do before the collapse to try to prevent it?

What good is the Government's proclaimed liberalisa-tion of European routes if passengers on scheduled airlines are left with worthless tickets because of the bankruptcy of a particular company? Is it not a fact that the package tour side of Air Europe's parent company was protected by a compensation bond worth £62 million administered by the Tour Operators Study Group, which is a competitor of ILG? Will the Secretary of State examine the structure of the bonding system, bearing in mind—[Interruption.] Listen. The Secretary of State did not mention this at all. He should bear in mind the fact that opinion within the travel industry is that the financial guarantee may have been withdrawn to prevent the entry into the British tour market of a German competitor, regardless of the disappointment, inconvenience and expense caused to British holidaymakers.