By Humphrey Carter

PHASE one of Palma's new tram system could be operating as early as 2013 the Mayor of Palma, Aina Calvo, and the Balearic Transport Minister, Gabriel Vicens, announced yesterday.

The first phase of the highly ambitious and costly public transport project will be the link between the centre of the Majorcan capital and the airport.

Vicens said that the current target is to have the airport link running by May 2013, although he admitted that if there are delays in the project, the launch may have to be put back to February 2014.

However, it appears that the budget of 170 million euros, rolling stock included, has been secured with the 35 million euros of state aid needed to start building the 11 kilometre track due to be secured today.

The Transport Minister said that the airport tram is going to be used by at least 12 million passengers per year.
Once the airport link is operational, the tram service will then be extended to Arenal and a track laid running round the Avenidas.