Slow-coach airlines

FOOT-DRAGGING airlines will be forced to set up systems to end the residents’ certificate requirement for fare discounts.

So far only ferry operators and one airline have adapted their computer systems to bypass the need for Balearic residents to produce a certificate.

As part of a central government scheme, ‘insular residents’ – nationals and European Union citizens of Baleares, Canarias as well as Ceuta and Melilla – can get discounts of up to 50 per cent in domestic sea and air fares.

But they must prove their resident status which, until September last year, was done with the National Identity Card (DNI) or the Foreigner Identification Number (NIE) for Spanish and European Union citizens, respectively.

Since September, however, residency could only be accredited by a resident’s certificate issued by town halls and valid for six months. In Palma alone, 172,108 residents’ certificates have been issued since the change.

But last month, the Ministry of Public Works introduced a new residency accreditation system without the need for the certificate. This new system needs a small adaptation of the sea and air operators’ computer systems. It was a voluntary option, but due to the poor reception the new system has had among airlines the Public Works Ministry has decided to make it compulsory.

The ministry wants all operators to have the new system implemented by Easter.

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