HC Deb 24 May 1982 vol 24 c217W
16. Sir John Biggs-Davison

asked the Minister for Trade whether he will make a statement about the use of Aldergove airport by Aer Lingus.

Mr. Sproat

At present Aer Lingus provides a scheduled air service between Belfast and Dublin, operated on its behalf by the Irish company Avair. Additional rights for Aer Lingus operations to and from Belfast were requested by the aeronautical authorities of the Repubic of Ireland during air services discussions which took place last month in Dublin and London. In return for Irish agreement that Dan Air should start new services from Gatwick to Dublin and Shannon, we agreed to permit Aer Lingus to operate up to three round-trip services a week through Belfast to Amsterdam, Brussels or Dusseldorf. Aer Lingus will be required to originate or terminate these services in the Republic of Ireland. No United Kingdom airline has shown a recent interest in introducing a service to these European points on direct flights from Belfast, and if the Irish authorities secure the the necessary rights from the destination countries the new services which can be started will clearly benefit the travelling public in Northern Ireland.

In the same discussions Aer Lingus was granted rights for services between London and Strasbourg and recieved approval for a programme of charter flights for pilgrims between Belfast and Lourdes.

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