Tourists bound for the airport are being picked up by pirate taxi drivers in the Playa de Palma. | Teresa Ayuga


The teams of inspectors which have been deployed to Palma to crackdown on illegal pirate taxi services are having to be moved to the Playa de Palma where the pirate taxi industry appears to be rife this summer.
According to Radio Taxi Llucmajor and the Association of Self Employed Taxi Drivers of Majorca, there are companies offering illegal airport transfers.

This has been a burning issues for many years.  It has led to mass strikes at the airport, violent clashes between legal and pirate cabbies with shots being fired once, and lightning stoppages this summer which have left tourists stranded at the airport for hours with taxi drivers refusing to work until the problem of pirate taxi drivers is properly dealt with.The government’s director general of transport, Jaume Mateu, has been made aware of the problem and yesterday called together all the parties involved to try and tackle the issues and decide on what measures can be taken to resolve the problem.

Apparently, the pirate cabbies are patrolling the resort, in particular near the hotels, picking up clients who are waiting for legitimate taxi drivers.According to the president of Radio Taxi Llcumajor, Jose Cano, there are around 20 minibuses who are working illegally transporting people to and from the airport and even other areas of Majorca. Biel Morages, president of the Self Employed Taxi Drivers of Majorca, said that the pirate cabbies are offering services to the airport for just ten euros, a fee legal and registered taxi drivers, especially those which are self employed, can not compete with. “They are operating with total impunity and are even using advertising.

Holiday resorts
“The problem now is that they have moved from airport to the Playa de Palma and other holiday resorts and are operating with no licences or official permission. “We’ve got to eradicate this illegal practice once and for all but unless we’ve got the Palma and Llucmajor councils on board, there is nothing we can do, nevermind the support and assistance of the authorties,” he added. What the taxi associations also want addressed is the problem of illegal on line taxi agencies offering pre-bookable services which will pick clients up on arrival at the airport, which in theory is illegal.