HC Deb 11 March 1991 vol 187 c662
16. Mr. John Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the consequences of deregulation of air fares on the London to Amsterdam route.

Mr. McLoughlin

The relaxation of restrictions on fares was part of a broader liberalisation agreement between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. That allowed air carriers to use their commercial judgment in responding to customers' demands within a competitive environment. Air fares between London and Amsterdam are now lower in real terms than they were before the liberalisation agreement took effect.

Mr. Marshall

Does not that show how beneficial deregulation can be? Can we look forward to more deregulation in the transport sector, in respect of both air fares and buses in London? What has happened to the number of passengers on the London to Amsterdam route since deregulation?

Mr. McLoughlin

I agree with my hon. Friend that liberalisation is essential—not least to give passengers more choice, but also to provide better opportunities for travel from regional airports. That is indeed the history of liberalisation.