HC Deb 25 February 1970 vol 796 cc1189-90
30. Mr. Corfield

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now make a statement on the current negotiations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for flying rights over Soviet territory in connection with the British Overseas Airways Corporation's London-Tokyo service.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

British and Soviet aeronautical officials met in Moscow in December and reached agreement on the arrangements to be made for an exchange of traffic rights under which B.O.A.C. would be permitted to operate twice-weekly services between London and Tokyo via Moscow and over Siberia, starting during Spring 1970. These recommendations have since been put into appropriate form for an intergovernmental agreement. It is hoped very shortly to hand the text to the Soviet Government. I hope it can be signed soon as the necessary arrangements made accordingly between airlines.

Mr. Corfield

What do the Russians get in exchange? Is there to be a pooling arrangement? Is there to be any arrangement by which the Russians get rights on the North Atlantic to embark and disembark passengers at Heathrow?

Mr. Roberts

There will be a pooling arrangement. Further discussion is needed on this question. The arrangement provides that the Soviet airline Aeroflot may operate services at a limited frequency across the Atlantic via London with full rights to New York.