News and Information

Air Discount Scheme

The Air Discount Scheme (ADS) is a Scottish Government initiative under the European Union's General Block Exemption Regulation. Its main aim is to make air services more affordable for remote communities in the Highlands & Islands and facilitate accessibility and social inclusion by providing a discount of 50% on the core air fare on certain eligible routes.

State Aid Registration - Scheme Number SA.53864

This scheme operates under Commission Regulation (EC) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the common market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (General Block Exemption Regulation) as published in the Official Journal of the European Union (L187/26062014).

Support for Social aid for transport for residents of remote regions is covered under Article 51of the General Block Exemption Regulation.

The legal basis of the scheme: Section 70 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001.This allows Scottish Ministers to make grants to any persons for any purposes relating to transport.

Who is eligible for the scheme?

Anyone whose permanent/main residence is in Colonsay, Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, Islay, Jura, Caithness and parts of Sutherland.

Registered Third Sector organisations who have employees/volunteers that have their permanent/main residence in an eligible area.

Who will not be eligible for discount flights?

People whose residence is not in the eligible geographic area, except students that are studying away from home and their main residence is in an eligible area.

People travelling on any service where the cost of travel is being met in whole or in part by a third party

  • People travelling on Public Service Obligation (PSO) flights
  • People travelling for the purpose of business. Business related travel is considered any journey where there is a business component, regardless of whether there is also a leisure-related component
  • People travelling on NHS-funded trips (If a trip is wholly or partly funded by the NHS, there is no entitlement to Air Discount)
  • Anyone in the eligible geographic area who does not have a live, valid card
  • People travelling on any service where the cost of travel is being met in whole or in part by a third party

Application process

If you believe that you are eligible and would like to apply for membership, please download an application form below.

Application Form - pdficon.gif Download the Application Form

pdficon.gif Download the Air Discount Scheme Terms and Conditions

Purpose of the Scheme

To fulfill the Scottish Government's commitment to deliver lower air fares for residents of Scotland's most peripheral communities travelling to and from Scotland's key population centers and/or between airports within the peripheral areas.

How to get the Air Discount Scheme discount

You will need your Air Discount Scheme card and the Personal Identification Number (PIN) that was posted to you when you registered for the Scheme.

NB Fare levels vary depending on the booking channel you use.

Important Information
When making bookings under the Air Discount Scheme, you should book discounted tickets only for yourself and young people under 16 years old registered to your card.
Scheme members who book discounted tickets for non-members will have to pay back discount claimed for non-member.

Any changes to members personal details, including addition of dependents, change of address/name, should be notified immediately to the ADS Team by calling our Freephone 0800 032 2890 or emailing and the Team will advise you of how the changes can be made. Your card will only be valid if the details are correct at the time of the booking.