Residents of the Balearics will have cheaper flights to and from the mainland.


After all the fuss about the delay in the introduction of the increased residents' travel discount, the new 75% rate was finally approved yesterday by the Spanish government. It will come into operation on Monday.

The minister for development, José Luis Ábalos, phoned President Armengol on Thursday to confirm that the cabinet would be giving the 25% increase the green light. Armengol stated that the higher discount was "historic" and a "right" that the Spanish government should grant.

Asked if she was concerned that airlines and ferry companies might artificially inflate the cost of travel because of the higher discount, Armengol explained that the control of prices is an issue for the development ministry. Comparing this new situation with that of inter-island flights, for which a 75% rate was introduced last year, she noted that those flights have gone down in price. It is up to the ministry to ensure that there are no price abuses.

The Partido Popular's parliamentary spokesperson Marga Prohens criticised the delay in the application of the increased discount. It had been agreed by the former government (PP) of Mariano Rajoy, but there was a delay because of the change in government. It had in fact looked at one time as if the increased discount might have been delayed until next year.