Security has had to intervene in clashes between taxi and minibus drivers. | Miquel À. Cañellas


On Thursday, there was a meeting to discuss the agreement between taxi and minibus drivers that is designed to prevent the clashes at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport that had started at Easter and which, as both sides accepted, were bad for Mallorca's image.

Biel Moragues for one of the taxi associations and Juan Gorreta for the minibus operators met representatives from the Balearic government, the Aena airports authority and Palma town hall. They announced that the agreement, which was reached on May 5, will remain in force until the end of the current tourism season.

Moragues said: "The commitment is firm between both parties and we will maintain the agreement so that there will be no clashes between taxi drivers and minibus drivers at arrivals."

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The view of the mobility ministry was that the agreement is proving to be "positive" as there is currently no conflict. The director-general for mobility, Jaume Mateu, said that the agreement will be considered by the Transport Intrusion Commission, the implication being that it could form the basis of revised regulation going forward.

As Moragues and Gorreta noted, they aren't the ones who should be drafting an agreement. But they have, even though it "violates current legislation". It has nipped the confrontations in the bud because it satisfies both taxi and minibus drivers.

The "illegality" of the agreement lies with the fact that minibus operators are able to pick up at the airport without adhering to a government requirement that they must have prior bookings - and 24 hours in advance. Palma licensed taxis (and buses) are the only public transport services at the airport that don't require advance bookings.

A system has been agreed whereby passengers arriving at the airport can contract a minibus on the strict understanding that a minibus journey must have five or more passengers. The taxi maximum is four.