The control tower at Son Sant Joan Airport. | Jaume Morey

The state air navigation company Enaire has refuted claims by the UCSA union that new air-traffic controllers for Palma will not be ready to assume duties this summer and that there will be delays because of a shortage of personnel.

Enaire has released a statement which makes clear that new controllers are perfectly prepared, capable, qualified and trained to be able to meet the high standards that their work demands. Some of these controllers, Enaire says, are coming from privatised control towers. "They are experts who have simply changed company."

In July this year, Enaire stresses, there will be a 9.6% increase in staff numbers at the central control compared with last year. At the Son Sant Joan Airport control tower there will be a 5.9% increase.

Airline associations have meanwhile voiced concern at UCSA's attitude, which is said to be "sowing disquiet" at the control centre and control tower. They believe that the union is ultimately seeking to demand more pay and is defending, "to the death", the privileges of air-traffic controllers.

The Majorca Hoteliers Federation, on the other hand, has called Enaire irresponsible for failing to ensure that there are sufficient air-traffic controllers. The federation is demanding that Enaire and the ministry of development "urgently provide the necessary guarantees so that Palma airport can operate efficiently this summer".