The inauguration of the easyJet base in Palma yesterday. | Miquel A. Cañellas

In order to meet demand, nine major airlines are going to have nearly 30 aircraft permanently based at Palma’s Son San Joan airport between March and October this year. Palma will be their Mediterranean base.

This news comes against the backdrop of the debate which is currently raging over whether the airport should be handling more aircraft this summer. The Spanish airport authority Aena has already signed off on this, and with airlines having already planned their summer schedule, it is a development which is impossible to overrule.

EasyJet, which opened its new base - its 28th across Europe - at Palma yesterday, will be joined by the likes of Ryanair, now Spain’s largest domestic carrier, Jet2, Eurowings, Iberia Express, Vueling, Norwegian and Air Europa. The move means that hundreds of new jobs are going to be created. Hotels in the Palma area are going to be busy accommodating an estimated 1,000 flight crew members every night during the summer season, which officially gets under way this weekend.

EasyJet, which has been operating out of Palma for 20 years, will be creating 120 new positions. It also expects to increase its operations in and out of Palma airport by 16 per cent this year.

Meanwhile, Brussels has warned that unless airlines like easyJet and Ryanair move their headquarters from the UK or sell shares to European nationals, they will lose profitable European routes post-Brexit. If airlines want to continue flying routes like Milan to Paris, they will be forced to have their headquarters based on EU territory and a majority of their capital shares must be EU-owned.