Palma.—Over 150 former employees of grounded Spanish airline Spanair and members of the Newco handling company it used, yesterday marched through Palma in protest over how the airline was allowed to close in a matter of hours on Friday night leaving some 4'000 people directly or indirectly out of work.

The marchers targeted Palma Town Hall and the Central Government Delegation.

Cabin crew said that it is totally unacceptable that an airline, or any company, is allowed to suddenly close within the space of just 12 hours. “We are demanding that the Generalitat, (the Catalan government which had a 24 percent share in the airline and had loaned it 140 million Euros since 2009), lives up to its responsibilities and takes care of the former employees and passengers affected,” said Yolanda Jover, a former air stewardess.

According to many of the protesters, no one had any idea that Spanair was heading into bankruptcy.

“It was an over night shock. We've all made such an effort to kept the airline afloat since we agreed to down size and move from our original base here in Palma to Madrid and then Barcelona, the employees have made a massive effort over the past few years and this is how we get treated,” said marcher Edith Monzonis.

Union representatives said that with regards to the other airlines stepping in to take on Spanair staff, it is all rumours so far. “We had not been officially approached by any of the airlines yet,” said Juan Carlos Soler for the UGT General Workers' Union.
The Balearic government and the opposition Socialist party are taking the situation as equally serious and have joined forced to tackle Madrid over what it intends to do.

Spanair served as a vital link between the island and the mainland and its collapse has nearly left Minorca and Ibiza isolated, so Bauza is going to be asking Madrid tomorrow how it can help overcome the 20 percent deficit in domestic flights the Balearic people and business now have to over come.