HC Deb 15 March 1976 vol 907 cc926-7
13. Mr. Steen

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is satisfied that reduced passenger travel will not result from differentials in fares for journeys of similar distances but from different airports.

Mr. Clinton Davis

It is the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority to determine air fares and to consider their effects on traffic in accordance with the policy guidance.

Mr. Steen

In line with the Minister's enlightened decision to forbid the Civil Aviation Authority increasing its navigational charges at Speke and not at Manchester, will the hon. Gentleman tell the Authority that it has no right to increase the domestic airline fare from Speke to London by £2.40 from 1st April and reduce the fare from Manchester to London by 60p from 1st April, the distances involved being identical?

Mr. Davis

I suspect that there is a constituency interest here. The Civil Aviation Authority, in determining its policies in this respect, must have regard to the law, and I am sure that it is aware of it.

Mr. Trotter

May I ask the hon. Gentleman about flights to Brussels and other destinations across the Channel? How can he justify a situation in which it costs twice as much for a journey of the same distance if one is crossing the water as against an internal flight in Britain, and twice as much as in the case of a flight of the same distance in America? Are not the airlines taking advantage of the inconvenience of proceeding by any other means, and is not that unfair?

Mr. Davis

It is not right to draw that inference. This is a matter for the Civil Aviation Authority. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to pursue the matter, he should do so with the Chairman of the Authority.

Forward to