Transport CommitteeSupplementary written evidence from Department for Transport (AS 087A)

Thank you for your letter of 15 January 2013 asking for information on the UK's bilateral Air Services Agreements in advance of my appearance before your Committee on 11 February.

You asked for:

(a)a list of those countries for which bilateral Air Services Agreements have been superseded by liberal multilateral agreements at the EU level; and

(b)a list of those countries where air service arrangements are still covered by bilateral Air Service Agreements, stating in summary the nature of:

(i)restrictions on the UK airports which can be served and, if so, which;

(ii)restrictions on frequency of service offered by airlines of either side and whether all frequencies have been taken up by UK and foreign airlines; and

(iii)restrictions on fifth freedom rights available to UK and foreign airlines.

As far as (b) is concerned, I enclose a table that provides the information you have requested for each of the UK's Air Services Agreements. The data in the table refers to scheduled passenger services only, not all-cargo services.

It also does not cover charter services, as those operate outside the umbrella of the Air Services Agreements. The data on services operated is taken from the February 2013 edition of the publicly available OAG guide. Finally, you should note that the frequency of services fluctuates in response to seasonal and other market forces, and so the data is a snapshot for this period only.

Whilst the UK's bilateral Air Services Agreements themselves set out the legal and regulatory framework for air services and are, as formal Treaties, submitted to Parliament and published, details of the frequencies and traffic rights exchanged between the two Governments of the sort set out in the table are typically contained in separate Memoranda of Understanding or records of meetings between the two Governments. Given the potential commercial and diplomatic sensitivity to the other Government concerned (for example, in terms of managing its wider international relations), these commercial details are not routinely published or disclosed by us without the consent of the other Government concerned. Given the sensitivity of the information, therefore, it has been agreed that the information provided in the table will not be published and will be treated in confidence.

As agreed, I will write separately with the answer to (a) above.

12 February 2013

Prepared 31st May 2013