EUROPE: Airlines are kept in check

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Our MP seeks to explain the factors which influence air fares, (Northumberland Gazette, June 9).

She might refer to the air passenger duty, a factor which is solely in the hands of the UK Government.

She tells us that air fares are directly related to the cost of fuel.

Can she explain why, during the Chinese ‘boom’ when oil reached a price of close on $100 a barrel, air fares on long-haul routes introduced a fuel supplement, and still impose it with oil at less than $40 a barrel?

The sole factor in air fares is demand and charging what the market will bear.

With many airlines owning or having on lease aircraft that they cannot get rid of when demand falls, they seek to create it by reducing fares.

This has happened because of economic uncertainty created by the forthcoming referendum.

Regarding the benefits of EU membership, Mrs Trevelyan fails to mention the sum of up to £300 a head that EU-based airlines have been forced by EU regulations to pay out in compensation to passengers in respect of cancellations and delays.

Without these regulations, and before they were introduced, they were escaping any responsibility for poor performance.

American based airlines only have to pay on flights which end in an EU country.

NC Walker,

Hotspur Court,