Fresh concerns over resident flight discounts.


The national ministry for development has responded to reports of alterations to the residents' discount system (as highlighted in yesterday's Bulletin) by insisting that it has no plans to limit the 50% subsidy for flights between the islands and the mainland.

The ministry adds that it would not raise proposals of this kind in the lead-up to the general election and when it is acting in caretaker fashion. What it has said is that there is to be an extension to January 2017 of a resolution related to group and business travel, something which Aviba, the travel agencies association, was suggesting could apply to all residents.

This resolution, approved in 2014, seeks to control how groups and businesses arrange prices with airlines. A technical commission which met a month ago with travel agencies and airlines established that the discount cannot apply to the highest tariffs for groups and businesses. From 2017 the subsidies for this type of travel will be according to a pre-established formula.

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The regional government is in contact with the ministry and will ask for more information when the minister for transport, Marc Pons, meets the national development minister, Ana Pastor, next Wednesday. The possibility that limits to the subsidies could extend to all passengers provoked criticism across the political spectrum, with even the Partido Popular voicing its concern. Its parliamentary spokesperson, Marga Prohens, says that this would never have the regional party's support, though she added that more information would be needed.

David Abril for Més has called for a "strong response" and has suggested that there should be no political representation at an awards ceremony today if Pastor is involved. The regional government does not expect her to attend, though questions have been asked about this in parliament by both Xavier Pericay of the C's and Jaume Font of El Pi. As far as Font is concerned, "Madrid never learns anything or knows anything about how things are in the Balearics".

Andreu Alcover of PSOE said that the party would not accept cuts to the subsidy system, adding that the proposal ran contrary to Balearic interests. He advocates a flat-rate tariff and for this to be incorporated into a revised agreement on the Balearic special economic regime. Podemos spokesperson Laura Camargo demanded greater control to prevent airlines artificially increasing the price of tickets.