asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is his policy with regard to Air Lanka flying between Manchester international airport and Colombo;(2) what is his policy with regard to determining the number of seats which Air Lanka is allowed to fill on its aircraft flying between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka; and if he will agree to an increase in this number:(3) if he will make a statement about the forthcoming talks between his Department and the Sri Lankan aviation authorities;(4) if representatives of British Airways will be present at the forthcoming talks between his Department and the Sri Lankan aviation authorities; whether representatives of other British airlines will be present at these talks; and if he will make a statement;(5) if he will undertake to place in the Library an account of the forthcoming talks between his Department and the Sri Lankan aviation authorities as soon as those discussions have been completed.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the prospects of Air Lanka flying direct between Manchester and Colombo.
The Sri Lankan authorities have asked for consultations about services on the route between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka. The British delegation therefore will include representatives of British Airways as the designated British airline.We shall consider any Sri Lankan proposals for changes in the present arrangements in accordance with the policy set out in two White Papers — "Airline Competition policy" (Cmnd. 9366) and "Airports Policy" (Cmnd. 9542)— recently presented to Parliament by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. The discussions themselves will, of course, be confidential. I will, however, place in the Library a copy of any public statement which may be agreed between the delegations and of any statement which I may make about the results of the discussions. I can say that traffic between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom fell sharply between the years ending 31 March 1984 and 1985 and that this decline is continuing.