A thick blanket of fog settled over Palma's Son Sant Joan airport at 6am yesterday morning, forcing 14 planes, most of them from Germany, to be rerouted to the airports of Minorca, Ibiza and Barcelona, and causing delays of up to two hours, airport spokesman Mateu Cladera said yesterday.
He said that the fog, which did not clear up until 8.30am, prevented 13 passenger flights and one cargo flight from landing in Palma. Thirteen were from Germany and one from Britain.
The companies involved were Condor, Air Berlin and Hapag Lloyd.
The delays were a result of the fog, but the airport began to return to normal shortly after 8.30am and there were no further incidents, Cladera said yesterday morning.
The passengers on the planes which were rerouted finally arrived in Palma between 9 and 10am, he confirmed.
Son Sant Joan airport is braced for one of the busiest weeks of the year, with an estimated 652'900 passengers expected, two percent more than the same week last year.
There will be 4'869 flights (1.21 percent more than last year), most of them concentrated over next weekend: an estimated 2'492 flights and 355'900 passengers between Friday, July 30, and Sunday, August 1.
Saturday, July 31, will be the busiest day, with 962 flights and 146'500 passengers, followed by Sunday, with 820 flights and 114'700 passengers and Friday, with 710 flights and 94'700 passengers.
The quietest day of the week will be Thursday, with 517 flights and 60'000 passengers.
Despite claims by hoteliers to the effect that bookings are down, figures at the airport have been rising steadily.
At the beginning of the month, a five percent increase was reported for the first week alone, and figures have continued to go up ever since.
This increase in passengers is only fuelling claims that the airport has to be enlarged now to cope with future traffic.
There is fierce opposition to the plans, as one of the main complaints levied against Son Sant Joan is that it is too big and passengers have to walk too far to get to their boarding gates.
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