Delays and cancellations because of the technical fault at Palma's control centre.

12-04-2017Miquel A. Cañellas

For four hours this afternoon, Palma airport was only able to operate minimum services because of a fault in the airport control centre. The fault occurred at 13.15 and was not repaired until 17.15 during which time nine flights were cancelled and scores of other flights were delayed. The fault meant that, at first, the airport could only operate at 40 per cent capacity, with just six flights being allowed to take off and land per hour for the four hours the system was down.

And all this on the busiest exit day of the Easter holidays for Balearic airports which were all affected by the fault.

By 17.30, the airport was operating at 76 per cent capacity with 25 flights landing per hour and departures taking of as usual, although many had been delayed.

During the shutdown, the airport was allowing flights already in the air to land. Meanwhile, those which were still on the ground awaiting clearance for departure to airports across Europe were ordered to stay put until further notice for safety reasons.

Of flights cancelled were services to Barcelona, Oslo, Ibiza, Minorca and Santiago de Compostela.

The airport was due to have handled 580 takeoffs and landings during the day. By 15.30, 229 had been handled.

In Ibiza, 141 flights were scheduled and just under half had landed or taken off by 15.30. Minorca was due to handle a total of 66. Half way through the shut down, it had handled 22.

Enaire, the company which manages airport and air traffic control for the Spanish airports authority Aena, said that is was extremely sorry for the chaos caused, especially as it came on the eve of the Easter holidays.

Passengers who have flights booked for Thursday are advised to check with their airlines because the shutdown may have had a knock-on effect on some flights scheduled for tomorrow.

As thousands of people waited, the airports services and facilities were under major pressure but the terminal managed to contain the problem.


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Clarke Barry / Hace over 3 years

Who was then responsible for the delay, was it the airport authority or the airlines itself, were the passengers whose flight were delayed or cancelled are able to receive compensation from the airlines?

What I have read through certain blogs is, if airlines were responsible for delays or cancellations, they should compensate the passengers for the inconvenience caused ( Source: ).

As the reason behind delay or cancellation was technical fault, which is not considered as extraordinary circumstances, probably all the passengers who were affected by, are able to ask for compensation.

It's good to know, that the claims can be made for the flights back up to 2 or 3 years in most EU member states, whereas I suppose for UK, it's 6 years.


Barry Warburton / Hace over 4 years

Thank you for that Hace doesn't explain why only one passport official was dealing with thousands of people.


V. / Hace over 4 years

Stricter Schengen external border rules came into effect last Friday April 7 with each and every passport now being checked electronically, not just glanced at. Spanish TV warned last week that this would mean longer queues for those departing to non-Schengen countries. The same will apply (even more so I should imagine) to those coming into Spain from all non-Schengen countries, not just the UK! But this was already happening in the UK the last time I visited three years ago and with a British passport, with the subsequent long slow queue, so nothing new there.


Ron / Hace over 4 years

It's Easter Barry - big holiday - get used to it! We came back from UK last week - very fast entry. Police didn't even look at our passports.


Barry Warburton / Hace over 4 years

Have a look today at the queues for Brits arriving at Palma airport then tell me I was wrong


Frank / Hace over 4 years

Use your loaf Barry !


Julian Simms / Hace over 4 years

Paco was off last night, and as far as I could see, there weren´t any free tables available.

Sorry Barry.


Sheila / Hace over 4 years

Magnificient wind-up Barry! Worthy of Private Eye and outraged of Tunbridge Wells. See you at our usual table in Macdonalds!


colin / Hace over 4 years

Barry, given the queues I face when I return to the UK at passport control, I assume you will never be leaving the UK on holiday.


Barry Warburton / Hace over 4 years

Been travelling to Majorca since 1960, bought a retirement home in Port Andratx ten years ago. Never had any trouble with passport control. Yesterday on a flight from Manchester caught up in Gibraltar type queue, clearing it was longer than the flight. Obviously deliberate. We were travelling with friends who were specifically here to buy a property, not any more. They were also remainers on Brexit, again not any more. As they pointed out, for the length of time it took for the flight and passport control they could be in Antigua. The immediate effect that we couldn't get to the Yacht Club for dinner. Probable loss £500. Sorry Paco. The long term effects are that we are selling our property, happy days for Engels and Volker. We are changing all our German cars for Jaguars and Range Rovers. We come to Majorca for a rest not to be political pawns. I suppose some faceless eurocrat is puffing up his cheat with pride.