Majorca tourists warned of chaos

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THOUSANDS OF Britons heading for holidays in Majorca could face weekend chaos, Foreign Office officials warned yesterday. Tourists may be left to simmer at Palma airport if coach drivers continue with a strike that was due to start at midnight last night.

Tour operators were drawing up emergency measures for getting tourists to and from their hotels during the planned three-day stoppage.

About 300,000 holidaymakers are expected to fly to Palma over the next 72 hours, and drivers are threatening to blockade the airport to prevent taxis and mini-buses collecting them. But the travel firms said there were no plans to cancel any flights to Majorca.

Alan Smith, the British consul in Palma Nova, said Britons arriving at the airport could face "great delays": "The tourist season is well under way and as it is a bank holiday in the UK on Monday more people than usual will, perhaps, be travelling from the UK," Mr Smith said.

The Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) said it had "expressed concern at the highest level" to the Spanish Tourist Office which was drawing up contingency plans. "No flights have been cancelled, and historically disputes of this nature have been resolved, often at the last minute," the FTO said.

A spokeswoman for the Spanish Tourist Board in London said that, under an emergency decree passed by the Balearic government on Wednesday, the drivers would be required to provide a minimum service to travellers.

"In the event of a strike, which we do not think is going to happen, there will be buses between the airport, port and hotels. The service may be a bit slow but there are not going to be huge queues," she said.