HC Deb 19 March 1958 vol 584 cc1259-60
34. Mr. Cronin

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what steps are being taken by the British Overseas Airways Corporation to inaugurate a Far Eastern service routed across the North Pole.

Mr. Watkinson

While British Overseas Airways Corporation has no immediate plans for inaugurating a Polar route service to the Far East, I understand that the operational and commercial possibilities of such a route are being studied.

Mr. Cronin

Will the right hon. Gentleman expedite these studies, bearing in mind that the trans-Polar route is by far the shortest to the Far East and also that Air France, K.L.M. and Lufthansa are inaugurating such services?

Mr. Watkinson

That may be, but the Corporations pick the routes which bring the best commercial terms.

Mr. Rankin

Has the right hon. Gentleman made any assessment of the saving in running costs if this route were used?

Mr. Watkinson

That is the purpose of the study now taking place.