Subsidised air fares will continue across the Western Isles

A scheme which subsidises air fares for residents in some of Scotland’s most remote communities has been extended for a further five years

By John A. MacInnes
Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 9:24 am
A flight lands at Barra
A flight lands at Barra

The Air Discount Scheme provides eligible travellers with a discount of 50% on core air fares.

The scheme will be formally renewed on 1 April 2021 and run until 31 March 2026.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

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“I’m delighted to confirm the renewal of the Air Discount Scheme for a further five years.

“We know the scheme is popular and plays a vital role in keeping our remote communities connected. It will no doubt have an important part to play as we look to ease the COVID-19 restrictions in the coming weeks and months.

“The scheme will remain open to all the eligible areas and students at the seven colleges within them.

“This announcement directly tackles the issue of high air fares in the Highlands and Islands and underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting our remote communities.”

The aim of the Air Discount Scheme (ADS) is to tackle the problem of high air fares in the most peripheral parts of the Highlands and Islands and to improve social inclusion in the areas it covers.

Giving a 50% discount on core air fares for residents of Caithness and parts of Sutherland, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles on eligible routes. It applies to students from these areas who are studying away from home. Students studying in the eligible areas, but whose main residence is elsewhere, are also included in the scheme.