HC Deb 28 October 1980 vol 991 cc216-7W
Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what action he is taking to obtain lower air fares in Europe.

Mr. Tebbit

I believe that some European air fares are clearly too high and' that the air traveller deserves a better deal. We are seeking multilateral action to liberalise fare regulation through the 22 nation European Civil Aviation Conference, and in the European Community where the Council of Ministers has, at our urging, recently agreed to an examination of Community air fares. Fares can only be reduced with the agreement of the other Governments concerned, which is in many cases not forthcoming, but we can and do refuse increases where they are not justified, so that fares are reduced in real terms. For example, if we had agreed to the increases applied for, the normal economy return fare to Rome would by now have been nearly £70 higher and to Stockholm over £100 higher than they now are.