By Humphrey Carter
PEAK summer season did not quite get off to the expected smooth start at Palma airport with some flights delayed up to six hours.
The airport authority gave assurances this week that everything had been done to minimilise disruption for air travellers on the first big getaway weekend ion Spain and the start of peak season for the rest of Europe, however one flight bound for Santiago, was delayed for six hours 35 minutes.

One of yesterday's Palma to Munich flights was delayed in Majorca for three hours while four in-bound flights were late, including one from Ireland which was delayed by at least five hours.

One of the main reasons for the delays was saturated European airspace with millions of people taking off at the start of their summer holidays yesterday.

Despite passenger traffic being one percent less than the start of August last year, a new record will be set over the next seven days.
Today and yesterday, Palma airport is handling 1.782 flights and 261.200 passengers, just a touch down on last year, although yesterday was the busiest day of the year so far for Palma airport.

Between tomorrow and August 8, 655.800 passengers will use Palma's Son San Joan airport, four percent more than during the first week of last August while air traffic control will handle 4.889 flights, an increase of 3.71 percent.

This coming weekend will be also be busier than usual with 350'000 passengers expected and 795 flights programmes, 2.56 and 2.72 percent more than last year.

Palma airport spokesperson, Mateu Cladera, said yesterday that, the busiest day of last August, was the last day of the German holidays when the airport handled 150'000 passengers, most going home.

However, this year, the airport has tried to programme its take off and landing slots in order to avoid similar concentrations of passengers on any given days, in particular the main transfer days for the British and the Germans.

Cladera said that passenger figures for last month should reach around 2.600.000, slightly higher than the 2.475.000 recorded in July last year.


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