Palma flights limited due to Covid-19. | Ultima Hora

Airlines are grounding part of their fleets because planes on routes between the Balearic Islands and the Peninsula are half empty due to the coronavirus crisis.

"The new measure will be adopted from next week because we cannot continue in this situation. For several days we have operated some flights with just a single passenger and this completely affects the income statement. This situation is unsustainable and forces us to make drastic decisions,” said a spokesperson for the airlines.

The changes will reduce air connectivity with the Balearic Islands in the coming weeks, until the spread of COVID-19 is under control and will affect flights to and from the Peninsula, Germany, the UK, France and Italy.

The companies

The Airline Association, or ALA, which includes 80 Spanish and European companies, says the industry is doing its best to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

“The airlines are reacting quickly and adapting their operational programs to meet the demand and health recommendations of each region at all times,” said the ALA, but warned that there will be repercussions.

"Companies are being forced to take extraordinary actions to mitigate the impact of this crisis, both on their operations and on their financial results," said ALA President, Javier Gandara.

A decisive factor for airlines deciding to ground some of their fleet is the insistence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health that only urgent trips be made.

Air Europa, Vueling, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Volotea and Iberia have all been affected by the entry restrictions imposed on travellers from Spain by 62 countries.

21 of them have introduced an outright ban, including the United States, Israel, Guatemala, Czech Republic, Jamaica and Morocco.

These restrictions affect the entire operation at Palma’s Son Sant Joan Airport, which is heading for the worst results in history, thanks to the coronavirus.

Prevention in the Control Centre to prevent contagion

Special protocols have been introduced for staff at Palma's Airport Tower and Control Centre to prevent Air Traffic Controllers from becoming infected with Covid-19 virus.