Aviation

Transport written question – answered on 14th March 2012.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitutional Reform), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport

(1) how many scheduled passenger air routes between Scotland and (a) Brazil, (b) China, (c) India, (d) Japan, (e) Russia and (f) Singapore have been established and operated as a consequence of UK Government (i) bilateral international agreements, (ii) amendments, (iii) memoranda of understandings and (iv) records of discussions since 1982 by year;

(2) how many scheduled passenger air routes between London and (a) Brazil, (b) China, (c) India, (d) Japan, (e) Russia and (f) Singapore have been established and operated as a consequence of UK Government (i) bilateral international agreements, (ii) amendments, (iii) memoranda of understanding and (iv) records of discussions since 1982 by year;

(3) how many slots per week were agreed between the UK Government and the Russian Federation government for passenger air services between (a) London, (b) Manchester, (c) Liverpool, (d) Birmingham, (e) Edinburgh, (f) Glasgow, (g) Prestwick and (h) Aberdeen and the Russian Federation in the latest period for which figures are available.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Minister of State, Department for Transport

holding answer 12 March 2012

The United Kingdom's bilateral air services arrangements do not prescribe the establishment or operation of routes and services, but rather set out the legal and regulatory framework under which services may be operated by the airlines of both sides.

The Government's overall objective for the UK's air services negotiations is to seek to put in place liberal arrangements that reciprocally remove restrictions on market access, maximising competition between airlines, and allowing airlines to operate services based on their own commercial decisions and assessment of market demand.

However, this is not always possible to achieve in the context of a bilateral negotiation, and limitations do still remain in some of the UK's air service arrangements on the number of services that can be operated and, in some cases, on the routeings that may be operated.

The details of the air services arrangements between the UK and the six countries referred to are as follows:

(a) Brazil—no restriction on UK-Brazil routes since 2006 with a current limit of 35 passenger services per week between the two countries by the airlines of each side allowed;

(b) China—restricted to six points in the UK and six points in China since 2004 with a current limit of 31 passenger services per week by the airlines of each side allowed;

(c) India—no restriction on UK-India routes since 2005 with a current limit of 56 passenger services per week by the airlines of each side allowed on UK-Delhi and UK-Mumbai services, 14 passenger services per week by the airlines of each side allowed on UK-Chennai and UK-Bangalore services, and seven passenger services per week by the airlines of each side allowed on services between any other city pair;

(d) Japan—no restriction on UK-Japan routes since 2008 with no restriction on the number of services per week allowed since 2012 other than to/from Tokyo, where there is a current limit of 28 passenger services per week by the airlines of each side allowed to/from Narita airport and seven passenger services per week by the airlines of each side allowed to/from Haneda airport during the nighttime/early morning period;

(e) Russia—UK-Russia routes are restricted to eight points in Russia (Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad, Krasnoyarsk and two other points to be named by the UK) for UK airlines from any UK point, and six points in the UK (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and two other points to be named by Russia) for Russian airlines from any Russian point.

In addition there are limits on the number of passenger services per week allowed between specified city pairs. The current limits for the airlines of each side are 35 passenger services per week allowed on London-Moscow, seven passenger services per week allowed on London-St Petersburg, and seven passenger services per week allowed on services between any other allowed city pair;

(f) Singapore—no restriction on UK-Singapore routes since 2005 with no restriction on the number of passenger services per week allowed.

Information on the number of passengers travelling between airports in the UK and the six countries referred to is available from the Civil Aviation (CAA) website (see Airport Statistics, Table 12.1, at:

www.caa.co.uk/airportstatistics

Information on the number of scheduled air services actually operated between airports in the UK and the six countries referred to is not collected centrally but data on services since 1990 are available from the CAA and I have arranged for it to be placed in the House Library.

Finally, in considering the strategy to be adopted at air services negotiations the Department for Transport routinely consults a range of stakeholders, including interested EU airlines, airport operators and the devolved Administrations, including Transport Scotland.

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