Responding to the Scottish Government announcement that the ADS scheme, due to end on 31 March, will now be extended to December 2020, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:
“We welcome confirmation that the Air Discount Scheme, first introduced by the Liberal Democrat/Labour coalition in 2001, is to continue in place. Over the years, it has been a real benefit to islanders, faced with the high cost of accessing their lifeline air services.
“For weeks, though, we have been pressing Ministers to make an announcement on the future of the scheme. There seems no good reason why islanders have had to wait until the last minute for confirmation that flights will continue to be covered under the scheme.
“Even now, the decision to roll over the current arrangements until the end of 2020 falls far short of past commitments of four years. We will seek assurances that the continuation of this vital scheme after that date is not in doubt.
“Meantime, the continued refusal of SNP Ministers to reverse their earlier decision to exclude business-related travel from the scheme is disappointing. This undermines efforts to allow isles businesses to compete on a more level playing field with counterparts on the Scottish mainland.”