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6 April 2006
Air Discount Flying Scheme For The North And Islands
Registration forms for a lower air fares scheme will are dropping through letter boxes in the Highlands and islands now.

The Air Discount Scheme (ADS) will provide a 40 per cent reduction on air fares for people whose main residence is any of the following: Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland, Islay and Jura, Caithness and North-West Sutherland. It includes students from these areas who are studying away from home.

A new web site www.airdiscountscheme.com will be ready shortly.

Application forms are arriving now and if you think you might be flying from the north or the islands and are resident then you should apply right away for your discount card that will be valid until 31 March 2008

Transport Minister Tavish Scott urged all eligible residents in the Highlands and Islands to return the application forms as soon as possible.

Mr Scott said: "We hope that the Air Discount Scheme can begin on May 15, but need European Commission approval for that to happen.

"This devolved government is committed to delivering affordable air fares for people living in Scotland's most far flung communities.

"When our Air Discount Scheme is introduced before the summer, it will mean people living in the remoter parts of Scotland are able to enjoy the benefits of affordable air travel that everyone else takes for granted.

"By including students in the scheme we are increasing peoples' access to higher and further education.

"The scheme will also bring real improvements in scheduled air services to and from the Highlands and Islands including frequency of service and routes served."

Discounts for eligible people will be available on any scheduled air service to and from any airport within the eligible geographic area to:

  • One of four main population centres within Scotland - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness; and to

  • Another airport within the eligible geographic area

There will be no restriction on the number of trips per eligible person. The discount will be available for both single and return journeys.


  • The Scheme is intended to link isolated populations to commercial centres rather than subsidise wider journeys beyond Scotland. An onward connection element to an airport outside the four population centres and the eligible geographic area will not qualify.

  • Current Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes, as European regulation does not allow multiple forms of aid on one route.

  • People whose main residence is not in the eligible geographic area.

  • National Health Service funded trips