Balearic President Francesc Antich may well have public support in his bid for greater domestic flights discounts, but he has upset members of the nautical industry. Shipping company Balearia said yesterday that Antich, in demanding that Balearic residents flying to the mainland pay the same as if they were covering the same distance by train, discriminates against the ferry industry. In an official statement released by Balearia chairman, Adolfo Utor, he called on Antich not to forget the important role played by the maritime transport sector. Utor stated that maritime transport is much more “ecologically sustainable” than air travel, as it consumes less fuel, makes less noise and is less of a public nuisance. On November 18, Antich will be meeting the minister for public administration, Javier Arenas, to discuss resident travel discounts and Utor hopes that Antich will include maritime transport in his proposals. The ferry company believes that the government should replace the percentage discounts with a fixed reduction, which will enable the consumer to decide upon his or her form of transport. As far as the shipping company is concerned, it has capability of competing with the airlines on routes to the mainland.

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