The fence around Palma airport. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter - ALEX SEPULVEDA


A security meeting has been called involving all of the relevant authorities to review what happened at Palma airport last Friday evening and how security protocol can be stepped up in Palma and other airports in Spain.

In the meantime police are questioning all the crew members of the Air Arabia Maroc flight from Casablanca to Istanbul which diverted to Palma airport on Friday after a passenger falsely claimed to be ill, police said.

Twenty-four passengers fled the plane, closing the airport for more than three hours, in what media believe to have been an elaborate ploy to enter Spain illegally.

Authorities arrested 12 people and were looking for 12 others.

The passenger who triggered the emergency was released from hospital and arrested after staff determined he was not ill.

Officials are investigating whether the whole incident was the result of a Facebook group’s plan to enter Spain illegally.

At least two of those who fled took a ferry from Mallorca to Barcelona and were still at large, police sources told Reuters.

Spain’s National Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A judge ruled on Monday that 12 defendants would remain in custody under preliminary charges of sedition and coercion. The judge did not elaborate.

Two were also charged with aiding illegal immigration, the Balearic Island top court said in a statement.