Transabus, a "foreign" company that is based in Madrid. | Michels

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The Balearic Federation of Transport Businesses is critical of the fact that four of the five bus routes from the airport to tourist resorts that will start in May are controlled by businesses from outside Majorca.

The one which isn't is the Cala Millor route. The other four - Alcudia/Can Picafort, Cala d'Or/Porto Petro, Magalluf and Santa Ponsa - are under Transabus, a Madrid company, or Arriva, a UK company ultimately owned by Germany's Deutsche Bahn.

The federation says that there are at present eighteen bus service concessions, transporting almost 8.9 million passengers per year. With the exception of the three companies that will benefit from the new routes, none of the others were aware of the government's intention to introduce the routes

It adds that there is likely to also be a financial consequence for the government, which at present subidises regular bus services in Majorca to the tune of 4.5 million euros. It assumes that there will be subsidies for the new routes, but notes that transport minister Marc Pons was unable to clarify whether there would be during this week's meeting of the Balearic Transport Council.

A further observation is that the six-month operation of the new services is at variance with government thinking regarding tackling seasonality.

Other than regular bus services, operators in the federation are responsible for the movement of some 14 million passengers to and from the airport per year.