THIS week I was presented with a book which gives an insight into the history of aviation in Majorca. It contains some excellent photographs of the early days of Palma airport. But there was one photograph which put my journalistic curiosity into overdrive; a British seaplane landing in the Bay of Pollensa in the 1950s. Thanks to the internet I was able to establish that a British airline called Aquila Airways operated a route between Southampton and Puerto Pollensa flying Short Solent flying boats, a design based on the Shorts Sunderland aircraft which was so successful in World War 2. A small number of passengers (about 40 I believe) would sit in comfort, have a silver service lunch and wait for their plane to land in Pollensa, where they would be collected by a launch and taken to their hotel. Forty years later and anyone wishing to get to Pollensa will have to spend at least 60 minutes in a car from Palma after a two hour flight. That's progress for you! It also made me think how prefabricated international travel has become and how there is probably a need for the service offered forty years ago to be re-introduced. Can you imagine arriving by sea-plane in the beautiful bay of Pollensa and then being whisked to your hotel in a matter of minutes. The golden years of travel have certainly gone. Meanwhile the Balearics wants to go up-market and attract big spending tourists. Well, perhaps they should start looking at the history books because in the 1950s Majorca was a place for the up-market brigade. It's not a question of new lessons being learnt it is a question of old lessons being relearnt.
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