Report will be presented to government to back claims

The cost of a ticket on a flight between the Balearic Islands is nearly double that of a flight between the Canary Islands, according to a report compiled by the Balearic government. The report has been compiled to back its demands for having air transport in the Balearics declared a public service. According to the report, people living in the Balearics paid an average of 84 euros to fly between Palma and Mahon in October last year. This figure did not include either the airport charges or the discount for residents. The air distance between Palma and Mahon is 120 kilometres. However, the report says, Canary islanders paid only 43.27 euros between Las Palmas de Gran Canarias and Tenerife, a distance of 141 kilometres. That is, Balearic residents pay double the fare of Canary Islanders for a similar length flight, with the difference that on some routes, Palma to Mahon and Palma-Ibiza, flights are not guaranteed during the winter. The report was compiled by the company Sener, and the Balearic government will submit it to the central ministry of development. The report says “the fares for flights between the Balearic islands are significantly higher (practically double) than those between Canary Islands, covering longer distances.” The same report says that in Europe and the United States, routes with similar characteristics to those of the inter-island flights in the Balearics are covered by turbo-prop planes, which although they offer a lower degree of comfort, have a similar safety level to jets and their running costs are lower. The report goes on to indicate that the chief complaints about the service are insecurity about the regularity of the flights, lack of capacity and high fares. The air traffic between the Balearic islands could be classified as “captive traffic”, the report says, adding that demand on the two corridors Palma-Ibiza and Palma-Mahon, is similar (about 275'000 passengers). But although demand is stationary, offer has been variable in operators, type of planes, capacity and frequency, creating uncertainty in users about the regularity of the service. There are problems of capacity early in the morning, late in the afternoon, at weekends and holidays, the report says. The central government has declared flights in the Canary Islands of public interest, but has not done the same for the Balearics.

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