The Coronado is gradually being restored.

17-06-2019Gabriel Alomar

In 1988 the airline Spantax ceased operations. A Convair CV 990 Coronado, the only surviving plane from the airline's fleet, has been at Son Sant Joan Airport ever since; it has been parked in the airport's military zone.

The Friends of Son Sant Joan association has been instrumental in the plane's restoration. Some of its members have been to see how the work is progressing. Some glass needs replacing, as do the tyres. The engines are intact but they are affected by rust. However, part of the exterior has been newly painted with Spantax colours. In the cabin, the seats have been re-covered and curtains put in by the windows. Paintwork is as it was in the 1960s when the Coronado and Spantax were part of the tourism boom.

The plane has been declared an asset in the cultural interest. This means that it has some protected status. For years, the air force had wanted it to be removed. The plane's future is now down to the airports authority Aena. The association hopes that a hangar will be found for it near to the fire station and that a centre for vocational training will be set up. Above all, the association wants the Coronado to be a symbol of Majorca's civil aviation and of its role in developments from the 1960s onwards.

There are only four Convair planes anywhere in the world. For Majorca, its Convair is part of the island's history.