Gatwick Airport

Department for Transport written question – answered on 23rd June 2022.

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Photo of Sarah Olney Sarah Olney Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) number and (b) dates of meetings that Ministers in his Department have had with senior staff at Gatwick Airport Limited in the last month.

Photo of Sarah Olney Sarah Olney Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department issued guidance to Gatwick Airport Limited on reducing the number of daily flights from 900 to 825 per day.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The decision taken by Gatwick airport to reduce the number of daily flights throughout the summer is a commercial decision taken by Gatwick Airport Limited, who will continue to work with their airline partners to operationalise this cap. We have been clear with the aviation sector that they need to ensure they can service the flights they offer to the passengers.

This Government has always prioritised consumer rights and is continuing to make progress, to that end we have published the Aviation Consumer Policy Reform Consultation on 31 January, this is aimed at strengthening further air passenger rights and are publishing an Aviation Passenger Charter. Airlines are under an obligation to provide information to passengers on their rights in the event of a cancellation. In the event that a flight is cancelled where UK law applies, the consumers should be offered the choice between a refund within 7 days, or to be re-routed on similar conditions to their final destination, and they may be eligible for compensation.

We have been clear with airlines that they need to undertake this process as quickly as possible.

The Secretary of State and I regularly meet with the aviation sector. In addition to these regular meetings, Gatwick joined me and the Secretary of State on 1 June to discuss disruption over the Half Term and they have been a central member of the Strategic Risk Group which I chair weekly, and the Summer Resilience Group chaired by my officials weekly. Additionally, senior officials have been meeting regularly with Gatwick over the past month and this will continue over the summer.

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