Aina Calvo, speaking on Saturday afternoon. | Pilar Pellicer


The Spanish government's delegate in the Balearics, Aina Calvo, said on Saturday that there was no evidence of an "orchestrated operation" behind Friday's incident at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport. Following a meeting with the chiefs of the Guardia Civil and National Police and the airport's director, Tomás Melgar, Calvo stated that "we don't know why those 21 people decided to go on to the runways". The twelve people so far detained (as of Saturday afternoon) have all been questioned by police.

Calvo explained that they will all be sent back to Morocco, following an event that was "unprecedented" in Spain. "We will be analysing the protocols that were in place for response to a medical emergency situation," said the delegate, who added that Son Sant Joan is an international health airport and that "it is common for this type of landing request to be made".

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The Air Arabia Maroc Airbus A320 landed in Palma on Friday due to what was thought to have been a passenger's diabetic coma. Some passengers then left the aircraft. "It is unheard of for 21 people to be on the runways and putting air traffic at risk."

Calvo reported that 21 passengers had left the plane. The man who had apparently suffered the illness was taken to Son Llàtzer along with a companion, who ran off. Both were arrested shortly afterwards. It is unknown if there is any relationship between them. The Guardia Civil also arrested a man who attacked an officer on the plane.

The joint Guardia Civil-National Police investigation is concentrating on finding the other passengers and on establishing whether what happened had been planned or not.