Passenger figures at Palma airport are down 12 per cent in comparison to last year, the next seven days will see a slump of 10 per cent and the political battle over domestic flights has really taken off in the Balearics. With the vast majority of Spanish airlines, most of which are based in Palma, planning to drastically reduce flight connections between the islands and the Balearics and the mainland this weekend, the local government came under further criticism yesterday, accused of having done little to save flight connections. Partido Popular parliamentary opposition spokesperson, José María González Ortea, said yesterday that Balearic President Francesc Antich should give up his argument with Madrid over declaring domestic flights a public service, and talk directly to the airlines. “That would be the most intelligent option,” Ortea said. The PP spokesperson said that if Madrid declared Balearic flights a public service, only one airline would benefit, but if Antich approached the airlines himself, the whole of the aviation sector could be involved.