THE Director General of Civil Aviation, Ignacio Estaún, yesterday set out to contact airline company chiefs to officially put forward central government's intention to establish inter-island flights as a public service in the Balearics.

The Islands' Minister for Transport, Mabel Cabrer was speaking at a Press conference following her meeting with the head of Civil Aviation.
She confirmed that the issue of public air transport service in the Islands had now been “clarified” and that it would become “a reality before the Christmas period”.

Cabrer indicated that the negotiations were at such an advanced stage that the Director of Civil Aviation had begun that same day to hold meetings with state and international airline companies.

Although Cabrer warned that she was not in a position to give details of conditions that were still being negotiated by the Balearic government and the Ministry of Public Works, she quoted some principal airlines who are considering taking up responsibility for inter-island public service.

The service will commit to an established minimum level of operation that will vary according to the time of year.
The Balearic government will give airline companies the choice of whether they want to schedule a greater number of flights for smaller aircraft with less seating capacity, or a lesser number of flights for larger aircraft which could accommodate much greater numbers of passengers.

A “maximum price” will also have to be agreed, which, although giving some profit margin to the operators will not permit the “abusive” prices currently holding sway. “We are also negotiating,” continued Cabrer “budgeted price structures where discounts can be applied to maximum tariffs.”