A group of taxi drivers. Not all are antagonistic towards the bus services. | Teresa Ayuga

The announcement of five summer season bus services for direct routes from the airport to certain tourist resorts seems certain to result in protests by taxi drivers that will start next month. The taxi drivers say that they have been deceived by transport minister Marc Pons, who held a meeting with representatives a few hours before he made the announcement, at which he discussed the idea without saying that its implementation was imminent.

The taxi drivers argue that the bus services are unnecessary, that they will duplicate services already available and put at risk the employment of over 2,000 people. They calculate that there will be losses of between ten and thirty per cent.  The government, for its part, reckons that the new routes will mean only an increase to ten per cent of the current six per cent of passengers who make use of public transport at the airport.

The drivers insist that the tariffs operating at the airport are very competitive in that the minimum is some 20 or 30% lower than other Spanish cities popular with tourists. They also believe that the buses will appeal to the "mass" tourist rather than a "quality" visitor.

Not all drivers are opposed. Some see the buses as a further form of competition, which means a need to improve conditions regarding taxi operations and offer better service. Others believe that car-rental is the main enemy and that a bus service is something that should be available.

Nevertheless, a meeting of the Balearic Transport Council today was expected to have been somewhat tense.