HC Deb 29 June 1987 vol 118 cc245-6
11. Mr. Bernie Grant

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received concerning BWIA's application to increase flights to Heathrow airport.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

The Trinidad and Tobago Government recently sought additional traffic rights for BWIA between the east Caribbean and London. It was supported by St. Lucia and Barbados. I am pleased that the matter has been resolved.

Mr. Grant

Is the Minister aware of the concern in my constituency—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker


Mr. Grant

—at the fact that the BWIA cannot have more routes from Heathrow airport? Is he further aware that British Airways has four times the number of routes of any Caribbean carrier? Does he not consider that this is unfair, especially on the basis of the Government's policy of free and fair competition? Will the Minister meet a delegation to discuss this matter further?

Mr. Bottomley

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his question. It is as reasonable for him to ask that question as for any other hon. Member to pursue air traffic agreements for constituency or other reasons. I am not sure that I am the right person to meet a delegation. The discussions that took place, the agreement that was reached and the resolution of the matter raised were a tribute to people getting together and trying to sort out problems. Some air traffic agreements are not simple, and I am sure that this one will benefit from the hon. Gentleman's interest.