A presentation is soon to be made of the Uber fleet. | MDB

On Tuesday, forty vehicles with Uber Mallorca logos arrived at the port in Palma, the CEO for Uber Spain and Portugal, Felipe Fernández Aramburu, having been in Mallorca in order to finalise details of the launch of Uber on the island.

But while he has been holding talks with car-hire firms which intend working closely with Uber in developing the service in the Balearics, the vehicles will not be on the road until such a time as a court decision goes in favour of two companies which hold licences that could be made available to Uber (or similar services). The expectation seems to be that there will be a favourable ruling, hence why the vehicles have arrived and Fernández Aramburu has been in Mallorca.

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The Supreme Court in Madrid has considered illegal a provision of a 2019 Balearic decree law that was designed to prevent Uber and the use of what are known as VTC licences. Standing for transport vehicle with driver, VTC services do operate in the Balearics, but they are limited and tend to be for the high end of the market - chauffeur services, for instance. Up to 225 licences are potentially available for transfer (sale) to Uber or similar.

The decree established that VTC contracting by a user had to be a minimum of thirty minutes in advance. While the Supreme Court believed this to be illegal, it couldn't simply annul the provision. However, it could refer the matter to the Constitutional Court. It is this court which now gets to decide whether or not there is unconstitutionality in that there is a violation of the constitutional right to free enterprise.

The Balearic ministry of mobility said on Tuesday that the processing of the appeal to the Constitutional Court does not change anything "for now". The acting government believes that this is "one more phase in the judicial process, so until there is a ruling there will be no changes to the regulation for prior contracting of 30 minutes for VTC service".


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