§ Lord Gisborough
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will make a statement in connection with the proposals for changes in air fares to and from Western Europe, which are to come into effect from 29th March 1981.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade (Lord Trefgarne)
Her Majesty's Government and the Civil Aviation Authority have agreed to the fare changes proposed, except in the case of services to the Republic of Ireland, where we have recently received proposals which are under consideration. We took into account the fact that the proposals include agreement on the extension by British Airways of the new Club and Eurobudget fares to all major routes in Europe, and that the Eurobudget fares offer to the travellers a significant saving over present normal economy fares. In future we shall scrutinise particularly closely proposals for fare increases on routes to countries which are blocking the introduction of lower fares proposed by our airlines. For example, in negotiations earlier this year the Austrian Government, to our great regret, was not prepared to accept a new 275WA Gatwick to Vienna service by British Caledonian with lower Miniprix fares. Meanwhile we have not accepted the proposed 2 per cent. increase in European fares based on fuel price rises, which in the light of advice from the Civil Aviation Authority on the information presented we do not think justified.