Air Nostrum, which is being asked to increase its inter-island service. | Gemma Andreu

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The regional transport ministry wants Air Europa and Air Nostrum to increase their inter-island flights. The residents discount for internal Balearic flights has gone up from 50% to 75% (the discount for mainland flights hasn't), and transport minister Marc Pons estimates that demand for inter-island routes has gone up by 20% as a result. Despite this increased demand, the government points to the fact there have in fact been some cuts to frequencies.

Pons is to have a meeting with representatives of the two airlines. The government is determined to ensure that services match this new demand, but it can only request that there is greater frequency. However, there is the possibility of revising the current conditions for Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes between the islands. The PSO, as it stands, is said to be deficient for certain days of week, especially for Minorcan flights.

Another route that is governed by the PSO is Mahon (Minorca) to Madrid. Pons, who is from Minorca, believes that greater frequency is essential. He also wants a cut in the benchmark fare and bring it down from the current 130 euros. For inter-island flights, this fare is 90 euros. The government has of course been lobbying Madrid for a flat rate fare of 30 euros for inter-island flights. This will ultimately have to be agreed by Brussels.