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Air Corporations (Non-Smoking Accommodation)

Volume 827: debated on Monday 6 December 1971

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will issue general directions to British European Airways and the British Overseas Airways Corporation requiring them to ensure that adequate accommodation is provided in all their aircraft for nonsmokers.

No, Sir. This is primarily a matter for the commercial judgment of the two airlines.

As the American airlines are making very good advertising copy out of the fact that they give privacy for consenting adults who wish to smoke in private so to do, will the Minister change his mind about B.O.A.C. and B.E.A.?

It may at least help the hon. Gentleman to know that B.O.A.C. intends to help consenting adults in this sphere by setting aside one quarter of the seats on each aircraft for non-smokers. B.E.A. finds greater difficulty in this regard. Because of the short nature of its flights, it would take a great deal more time for booking-in and B.E.A. has therefore not yet decided to follow B.O.A.C.'s example.