HC Deb 12 December 1967 vol 756 cc120-1W
Mr. Spriggs

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has approved the increases in international air tariffs which were agreed by an emergency conference of the International Air Transport Association on 25th November; and what estimate he has made of the effect of these increases on the prices of inclusive tour charter holidays.

Mr. Crosland

The Board of Trade has approved the Resolutions of the International Air Transport Association, introducing modifications in international air tariffs to take account of the new exchange rates. The effect of these modifications is, in general, to maintain those international air fares and cargo rates which are expressed in sterling at their pre-devaluation level in terms of foreign currencies. In some cases, however, the sterling tariffs have been left unchanged or have been increased by a smaller proportion. Since the increases all relate to international tariffs, it is not appropriate to refer them to the National Board for Prices and Incomes.

The effect of these increases would normally be to raise the minimum price which United Kingdom operators, as a result of Provision I of their air service licences, are required to charge for inclusive tour charter holidays.

The Government have, however, decided that for the present winter season the minimum prices for such holidays should not be raised. Accordingly, the Board of Trade have, under the terms of Provision I, today approved a tariff which will have the effect of keeping the minimum prices for these holidays at the pre-devaluation level. This will not, however, affect the charges for inclusive tours on scheduled services operated by the airlines which are members of I.A.T.A., and which are bound by the relevant I.A.T.A. Resolutions. Urgent consideration is being given to the minimum prices to apply to inclusive tour charters during the summer season of 1968, where wider issues are involved, and it is hoped to make a very early announcement. Meanwhile tour organisers should in appropriate cases consider advising intending holidaymakers that advertised prices may have to be increased.