Delays announced at Palma because of the French industrial action. | Pere Bota


Flight chaos continued at Palma airport and others across the country today because of the ongoing industrial action by public sector employees in France.

By 5pm this afternoon, a total of 29 flights had been cancelled in the Balearics, the majority operated by the low-cost Spanish airline Vueling. Twenty-two were grounded in Palma and nine in Ibiza, with flights having to pass through French air space hit the hardest.

Various flights to the UK, Gatwick in particular were cancelled, as were services to Scandinavia, Switzerland and Russia. And, apart from the cancellations, there were delays, some long ones, on scores of flights.

As we have seen over the past few days, Palma airport is going to handle an all-time record number of passengers this summer and today was no exception. A total of 821 flight movements were scheduled and the airport handled 138,639 passengers.

More than 8,000 passengers have been affected by 46 cancellations at Vueling’s home airport, El Prat in Barcelona, over the last few days with many travellers facing delays of up to 12 hours - not to mention at other airports such as Palma.

The airline, which is owned by IAG and is a sister company to British Airways, has blamed the problems on "operational difficulties" without giving further details. Spanish authorities said that Vueling would face an inquiry over the problems which could lead to a fine.

Vueling’s commercial director David Garcia Blancas said: "The company would like to reiterate the message that it is sorry to all of the passengers who have been affected by the operational difficulties during the last few days.

"All passengers who have suffered a cancellation have been reallocated a seat in the next available flight or - including in cases of delays of more than three hours - we have offered a refund of the value of the ticket to those who no longer wish to fly."