Western Isles Air Discount Scheme renewed

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed today’s (Tuesday) announcement from the Scottish Government that the Air Discount Scheme has been renewed until 31 December 2020.

The scheme is funded by the Scottish Government and is designed to make air services more affordable for remote communities in the Highlands & Islands by providing a discount on the core air fare on certain eligible routes.

The discount offered was increased from 40% up to 50% in 2016 by then Transport Minister Derek Mackay MSP in recognition of the high costs of flying to and from areas such as the Western Isles.

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The scheme will also be extended from 1 April to allow students studying in eligible areas, but whose main residence is elsewhere, to make use of the scheme as well as including more areas in Caithness and Sutherland.

Alasdair Allan MSP said: “The Air Discount Scheme plays a vital role in making flying to the mainland more affordable for islanders and I know today’s announcement will be widely welcomed across my constituency.

“It is also welcome to see students who have come here to study being able to benefit from scheme for the first time. This is important in marketing the islands as an attractive place to study.

“The Scottish Government has demonstrated its commitment to the continuation of the scheme and of supporting transport and connectivity to our island communities.”