There is clear evidence that the price of flights has risen since the residents' discount was increased from 50 to 75% in July. The Balearic travel agencies association has been monitoring prices and suggests that they have risen in some instances by as much as 70%.
The association describes this as "abnormal", and its president, Antoni Abrines, says that all airlines have been upping their prices. The rise in the discount, approved by the national ministry of development, "was to benefit residents in the Balearics and not airlines".
The University of the Balearic Islands has also been looking at how prices have evolved. Aleix Calveras, professor of business economics, reckons that the discount has provided an incentive to raise prices to the detriment of Balearic consumers. He draws attention to how prices differ for travellers flying return from Palma to Madrid and vice versa; the difference can be more than three times greater.
The director-general for ports and airports, Xavier Ramis, has expressed his concern at the situation. The Balearic government has therefore complained to the ministry about the increased fares. It wants the Civil Aviation Directorate and the Agency for Air Safety to intervene as a matter of urgency. In May, before the discount went up, Madrid was asked to be vigilant in ensuring that there would be no "discrimination" in pricing, which is precisely what is happening. Different tariff systems apply whether flying from the Balearics or the mainland.