HL Deb 25 July 1994 vol 557 c67WA
The Earl of Kinnoull

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps are being taken to ensure that British airlines can compete fairly and effectively in Europe in view of the current level of subsidy given by other governments to their national airlines.

Viscount Goschen

It is for the European Commission to determine whether a subsidy given to a Community airline by its national government is state aid which would affect competition between member states and, therefore, be contrary to the Treaty of Rome. The Government are firmly of the opinion that state aids, in general, impair competition in the aviation Single Market to the detriment of both the industry as a whole and consumers, and have, therefore, consistently pressed the Commission to examine all state injections of funding in light of the provisions of the treaty. The Government have, for example, written to the Commission expressing their opposition to the French application for a FF20 billion injection into Air France.