All quiet here, but tension between licensed taxi drivers and unauthorised operators is never far away.


All is not well at the taxi ranks at Palma airport. A sluggish start to the season has done little to boost taxi-driver spirits and it appears that a fresh war against pirate/illegal taxi drivers is brewing.

Last year, the regional government approved a decree aimed at illegal, "pirate" taxis. A specific committee was unveiled to tackle the problem, with the main focus being on pirate taxis operating at the airports. Increased controls and inspections were supposed to have been introduced, while there was to be a monitoring of websites through which illegal transport services were offered.

Fines ranging from 6,000 to 12,000 euros for advertising illegal services faced offenders between June and September. There was also to be a change of emphasis where controls were concerned. Rather than have these in different parts of the island, they were to be concentrated on access points for the airports, which is where most pirate activity occurs.

Salvador Servera, the manager of the Balearic transport operators' federation, and Gabriel Moragues, the president of one of the taxi-drivers' associations, both welcomed the government's initiative. "Everything that can be done to fight this ‘intrusion’ is good."

The new legal device was expected to increase the time that vehicles used for illegal activities can be immobilised and it also included improvements to the regulation of services provided by coach operators. The aim was to provide legal cover to contracts when there is unplanned demand in the peak season. Companies will be able to subcontract services in future. There was also going to be a greater control of companies offering hire cars with drivers that are based outside the Balearics.

National regulations already stipulate that such companies can only have 20% of their business outside their own territories. A register is to be made of all these vehicles. And this year, the Balearic government is working hard to crack down on illegal hire companies operators and those which are not officially registered.

But while all this is going on and more inspectors are out and about keeping an eye on the car rental companies, registered airport cabbies have realised that there is a loophole in the law which pirate cabbies are cashing in on. Registered taxi drivers claim that there are more pirate cabbies than ever operating in and out of Palma airport and some form of protest action is being planned unless the authorities step in.

Every summer, the pirate taxi conflict crops up. Clashes between the two parties have turned violent and this summer could prove no different. More CCTV cameras have been installed, but taxi drivers have come to realise that they have little or no effect. And while there are more government inspectors on site, they - being civil servants - knock off at 5pm, leaving the door open to a flood of pirate cabbies catering for evening and night flights.


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Helen / Hace over 3 years

Last August as a resident of 30+ years I went on a cruise from Palma. What I noticed when we docked was that no taxis were waiting to collect even though there were at least 90 passengers queuing.

Everywhere else we visited in Italy & France - the taxis were all there and waiting.

It is the same when there is a concert. The taxi drivers can easily find out when it will finish so why are they not waiting close by. Seals concert in Santa Ponsa springs to mind.

You are a business. Competition is healthy. Pull your socks up and look at other ways to improve your business.


I love Mallorca / Hace over 3 years

Very well said Holiday Maker, the same will be said of the restaurant owners as well, Too much government interference , you can not legislate the economy , it does not work !


george / Hace over 3 years

Well said holidaymaker, you have it correct. The INDEPENDENT tourist has left the island as private rentals are not allowed. Everywhere seems extremely quiet and the 1st June is this Friday.

It is going to be a very short season.


D / Hace over 3 years

Well said holiday maker.


Holidaymaker / Hace over 3 years

The taxi drivers may have their government to thank for the downturn in business not the pirate taxis ? How many private rental passengers would have got a taxi from the airport in a season ? This business has now gone for good as hotels use coaches for their guests .


Henry James / Hace over 3 years

I stopped using taxis because of the sky-high fares,for the last three years,I have used the fast hopper service to and from the airport,it's much cheaper and almost as fast as a taxi.


TC / Hace over 3 years

After all the fuss about pirate taxis, extra buses, hire car saturation it hasn't seemed to limit the ever increasing number official taxis arriving at our taxi ranks. The industry would be appear to be booming but still it isn't enough. They are like a legitimate mafia wanting more and more. A law unto themselves. This is highlighted in the reckless way they bomb about our roads tailgating any poor elderly driver or unsuspecting tourist. Prosecutions? I don't think so.


S. / Hace over 3 years

Having used Taxi's in February, March and April this year. The fares for exactly the same distance , at the same time in the evening, have varied. Between €80 to €100 after rapid button pushing at my destination. The Taxi's were allocated by their controlling person at the Airport Taxi queue point. Of which I assume was a legitimate licensed Taxi. Not a Pirate Taxi , I assume, as I do not know where Pirate Taxi's operate from. Unless they mix into the legitimate Queue. The return Taxi's from the Urbanisation , charge €75 to €80. Welcome to Mallorca !!!!.


Dave p / Hace over 3 years

The Taxi rules are the same in lots of countries. For example a Leeds licenced taxi can't be flagged down in Manchester. If they could all he'll would break loose. On a Manchester football match day Taxis from all surrounding cities would decend on the city causing a traffic nightmare.


George / Hace over 3 years

Spain should realise that competition is healthy. Maybe this may make them modernise themselves. Why an airport taxi is not allowed to return from a resort where they have dropped off with clients who wish to go to the airport.

This is a CRIME against the world as an empty taxi creates POLLUTION also a tourists who waves at a taxi to collect them but the taxi drives off and ignores them is increasingly confusing for a holiday maker and appears rude.