To ask the Secretary of State for. Transport what further progress has been made towards a free market in European air fares; and whether he will make a statement.
I am pleased to say that, earlier today, the European Community's Transport Council formally agreed a package of measures liberalising civil aviation within the Community. This is a package which first took shape under the British Presidency in the second half of 1986. Its measures provide important new opportunities for airlines to introduce lower fares, to decide for themselves what capacity to operate, to open up new routes and for greater competition between airlines on routes already operated.While this represents a major agreement, it is only a first stage. The Council is committed to agreeing on a second, more far reaching, step during 1990 as part of the wider process of completing the Community's internal market by the end of 1992.