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Falkland Islands: Air Routes

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the affordability of the proposed pricing scheme for the Falkland Islands Airbridge under the provisions of the Joint Policy Statement agreed between his Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and if he will make a statement; (240771)

(2) what assessment he has made of the socio-economic impact on the Falkland Islands of the proposed pricing scheme for the Falkland Islands Airbridge under the provisions of the Joint Policy Statement agreed between his Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office;

(3) what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the withdrawal of the child/student fare from the Falkland Islands Airbridge agreement on the ability of Falkland Islands family members to travel between the Falkland Islands and the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement;

(4) if he will reinstate the child/student fare to the Falkland Islands Airbridge pricing scheme under the provisions of the Joint Policy Statement agreed between his Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office;

(5) what representations his Department has received on the proposed pricing scheme for the Falkland Islands Airbridge under the provisions of the Joint Policy Statement agreed between his Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office;

(6) what consultations were carried out by his Department on the proposed pricing scheme for the Falkland Islands Airbridge under the provisions of the Joint Policy Statement agreed between his Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and if he will make a statement;

(7) if he will reduce the prices under the proposed pricing scheme for the Falkland Islands Airbridge under the provisions of the Joint Policy Statement agreed between his Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and if he will make a statement.

The existing Joint Policy Statement governing the South Atlantic Airbridge dates from 1992 and is based on the previous service provided by Royal Air Force TriStar aircraft. The introduction of a civilian charter service clearly required a revision to this statement, and this is being currently discussed between the MOD and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It would be premature to comment on any of the detail of this revised statement until these discussions have been completed.