Christmas flights are in short supply and expensive. | Click


If you are planning a trip to the mainland for Christmas or New Year and have not booked the flights yet, be braced for an expensive surprise. Even residents, entitled to the 50 per cent discount, are still having to pay a premium, if just flying to Barcelona or Madrid.

Some airlines are charging over 1,000 euros for return flights to destinations like Seville or Pamplona and Bilbao in the north and, for those who are not resident and entitled to the discount, that is what they are going to have to pay; or more, the longer travellers leave it to book.

According to the airlines, 80 per cent of the Christmas and New Year domestic airline capacity has been sold, which is why people wishing to get their hands on the remaining 20 per cent are having to pay well over the odds: by as much as 60% or more in some cases.

This has only brought the debate over travel discounts on domestic air and sea routes for Balearic residents even more to the forefront. There is already an argument brewing between Palma and Madrid over plans to limit or reduce discounts for large groups.

And Marc Pons, the minister for transport, told parliament today that the government would consider going to court in order to ensure that the national ministry of development complies with residents’ travel discounts. He was responding to a question from Silvia Tur, the one parliamentary deputy from Formentera, who had expressed her concern about the ministry’s "threat" to reduce the discount.

Pons, explaining that the government in the Canaries is also prepared to take legal action, said that no response had yet been received from the development ministry for a meeting to discuss the plan to cut the discount for group travel. The ministry had declared its intention to do this, added Pons, without consultation.

The new scheme would establish a maximum amount to be eligible for the discount, one calculated according to the average price of each air route. In Pons’ consideration, this is totally wrong and will harm residents of the Balearics.