HC Deb 17 March 1965 vol 708 c1268
27. Captain Orr

asked the Minister of Aviation whether, in view of the fact that internal routes have greater flight frequencies than overseas routes, he will give a general direction, in the public interest, to British European Airways that when a number of flights have to be can-celled or amalgamated due to insufficient de-icing facilities or other reasons, overseas routes shall have an absolute priority of service over other internal services.

Mr. Stonehouse

No, Sir. This is a matter for the airline concerned, but I understand that, if there is a choice, British European Airway's practice is to cancel the service that will cause least inconvenience and that they have the availability of alternative transport in mind.

Captain Orr

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that in fact de-icing facilities at London Airport are now so inadequate that frequently early morning planes to Belfast during the winter have to be cancelled and that the position becomes more irritating in view of the fact that planes take off from Glasgow and other obscure places on the mainland?

Mr. Stonehouse

I will see that these observations are conveyed to B.E.A., but I understand from B.E.A. that very high priority is given to the Belfast planes.