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PALMA'S Son San Joan airport, the busiest charter airport in Spain during the summer, is braced to handle over 399.050 passengers and more than 2.935, flights over this first holiday weekend, with a record number of visitors from the mainland expected this summer. The Spanish airport authority (AENA) reported yesterday that the principal international destinations for Spaniards this summer are Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, Cancun, Athens, Malta and Luxor. However, as usual, the majority of Spaniards will be spending their summer holidays in Spain and, apart from the Balearics, other chief holiday spots are Lanzarote and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Travel agents have also reported a recent surge in bookings for Ibiza and Minorca.
Today will mark the start of the summer security operation at airports, sea ports and in the most popular resorts across the country.
Over 90'000 passengers will pass through Palma airport alone today while tomorrow, the busiest day of this first weekend of the summer holidays, Son Sant Joan will handle 130.000 passengers and 884 flights. For this reason, in collaboration with the airlines and handling agencies, security guards and local police, the Airports Authority has set up help facilities for travellers. AENA points out to all travellers, including the younger ones, that it is important to carry personal identification in the form of a passport or DNI card. It advised holidaymakers to bear in mind the time it takes to get from one airport terminal to the next so that there is not a last minute rush to get to the boarding gate. Over the next four days, the high volume of air traffic will consist mostly of people taking the first summer break away from home.
The Airports Authority described a typical profile of this group of travellers as being a member of a family group, carrying luggage and making use mostly of charter flights. AENA gave notice that building reform works at most airports has been called to a halt so that it does not interfere with the normal checking in, baggage handling and boarding procedures. There will also be an increased staffing level in customer services (bars and restaurants) technical services and maintenance departments.