HL Deb 06 November 2001 vol 628 c10WA
Lord Hoyle

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will extend their period as insurers of last resort to British airlines from 30 to a maximum of 180 days without additional costs to the airlines. [HL983]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

On 22 October. the Government announced that they had extended the temporary insurance scheme indemnifying. UK airlines against third party war and terrorism risk for another 30 days. This is in line with the conclusions of the European Transport Council on 16 October that European government schemes should be renewed for a month subject to re-examination at the end of that period, the deadline for schemes being 31 December.

The Government announced on 30 October that airlines were to be offered a choice of cover in the renewed scheme. One option is for the airlines to retain cover under the government-backed Troika scheme for all liabilities above 50 million US dollars. Premiums for this cover are currently waived, but the Government will start charging from 8 November in line with EC guidelines issued on 23 October. The other option is for airlines to purchase commercial cover for liabilities up to 100 million US dollars. The Troika scheme will provide cover above that level and waive premiums until the expiry of the 30 days of the scheme at midnight on 24 November.

The principle that premiums should be charged under government schemes was agreed by European Finance Ministers on 21 September. The UK Government are currently consulting with industry on the most appropriate basis for charging.