With the residents flight discount having increased from 50% to 75% on Monday, there was a rush to buy tickets. The president of the travel agencies association, Antoni Abrines, says that bookings were up by around a half and that they are being made for the next few weeks. Many travellers had delayed making their reservations because they knew the higher discount was about to be introduced.
Air Europa agreed with the association that demand was up by 50%. Visits to its website had also doubled. The airline expects that this interest will last for a few days.
Carmen Planas, the president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, welcomed the increase in the discount, observing that it compensates for insularity, that residents will benefit, and that Balearic businesses will be more competitive.
The minister for industry, trade and tourism, Reyes Maroto, who was in Palma, echoed what Planas had to say about residents' benefits and business competitiveness.
The system which verifies resident certification experienced some delays on Monday. In fact, it collapsed at one point because of the sheer volume of verifications that were required. These weren't only coming from the Balearics. The increased discount also applies to the Canaries and the north African autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
Meanwhile, Ryanair came in for criticism for having delayed the processing of the increased discount by a day, arguing that it needed more time to update its system. The travel agencies weren't buying this, as the airline had known about the change and about the steps it needed to take.
The increase in the discount means, for example, that a one-way flight from Palma to Madrid goes down from a typical price of 38.30 euros (with the 50% discount) to 23.95 euros.