This year, March 1 is a public holiday in the Balearics (celebrating the approval of the autonomy statutes which led to home rule) and as it falls on a Thursday, many people have taken advantage to take a long week-end break. But, so many people have had the same idea that there are no more plane seats available on the Palma-Barcelona route for the 27th and 28th, and very few to Madrid. A spokesman for the travel agents association said that demand had been much higher than expected and none of the airlines had been prepared for the avalanche of bookings. A spokesman for Iberia said that unlike other holiday weekends, it had not been possible to programme special flights so that there were serious problems in finding seats to Madrid or Barcelona. Travel agents said that the most popular destinations were the ski resorts in Andorra and the Catalan Pyrennees, all of which were fully booked. Those who prefer foreign travel have opted for Disneyland Paris and an increase in family tourism has been noted, the travel agents reported. They also confirmed that most of the return flights to Palma on March 3 and 4, Saturday and Sunday, are also fully booked. Operations at Palma's Son Sant Joan airport were normal yesterday, with slight delays on flights from Palma to Madrid and nearly an hour on flights to Bilbao.


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