The fight led to the two-hour stoppage. | IB3 Twitter

Taxi drivers at Palma's Son Sant Joan Airport stopped work for two hours on Friday in protest at the activities of "pirate" operators who pick up arriving passengers without having town hall licences or authorisation.

The conflict between the licensed taxi drivers and those who are unlicensed or are only permitted to pick up with confirmed advance bookings is absolutely nothing new. On Friday, the stoppage followed a fight that broke out at arrivals.

Palma town hall's director general of mobility, Jaume Mateu, and the councillor for mobility, Francesc Dalmau, needed to negotiate with the taxi drivers in order to restore service.

The taxi drivers complain about a lack of police in the arrivals area, which is where the trouble always occurs. The town hall said that more local police would be on patrol for the remainder of the All Saints holiday period. The National Police also have a permanent presence at the airport.

The Balearic ministry of transport has said, meanwhile, that it carries out periodic controls precisely to try and prevent "intrusive practices". If there are fights, it is up to the police forces to intervene. Ministry inspectors at the airport work in collaboration with the police.

The most publicised incident of this nature was in late May 2017. Taxi drivers staged an impromptu strike that lasted for several hours.