Palma de Mallorca Airport Shut Down in Bizarre Passenger Incident

Palma de Mallorca, one of Spain’s busiest airports, had to be shut down for hours last Friday, November 5, after a bizarre series of events. A medical emergency was reported on board and the flight, en route from Casablanca, Morroco to Istanbul, Turkey, was diverted to Palma de Mallorca.

After landing, 21 passengers left the aircraft and ran across runways, ultimately climbing over the perimeter fence around the airport. About a dozen of those people were found and arrested but the rest are still on the loose. An investigation is underway to determine if the group planned this event as a way to immigrate illegally.

Aina Calvo, Delegate of the Government in the Balearic Islands, said they had never seen anything like this at a Spanish airport.

The sequence of events after landing in Palma de Mallorca is that emergency services boarded the aircraft, operated by Air Arabia Maroc, to assist with the medical emergency. When they did, the 21 passengers ran down the air stairs and began hiding amid the planes parked on the ramp in an supposed attempt to enter the country illegally

Around 60 other flights were diverted or delayed as a result of the incident.