§ 5. Mr. William Shepherd
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he will state the average number of passengers carried per journey on the Manchester—London air service since its inception.
§ Mr. Lindgren
There is at present no service operating exclusively between London and Manchester. The passengers carried per journey between Manchester and London on the London—Manchester—Belfast Service since its inception on 29th July last up to 23rd November represented an average of approximately one and a half.
§ Mr. Shepherd
Does the Minister believe that this average would be accepted by a commercial concern, and will he give the reasons why it is so low, and how much loss is being borne by the taxpayer?
§ Mr. Lindgren
So far as the latter part of the question is concerned, I have no information to give. This, in fact, arises from a through service. The passengers are being carried on part of a journey on a through service. The times of the services are naturally not such as would encourage traffic on that part of the journey, because they are outside those that would normally be expected by those who want a direct London-Manchester service. That is the reason for the rather low payload in regard to that somewhat short journey. The through traffic is quite satisfactory.
§ Sir Ronald Ross
Are not all aircraft running to Belfast inferior aircraft and is there not such a shortage that they have to be used on that route?