Spanish airlines, the majority of which are based in Palma, have been asked by the Secretary of State for Development, Francisco Alvarez Cascos, to explain what their post-September 11 problems are. With Iberia and Air Europa planning job cuts and flight reductions, the Minister wants the airlines to make a clear distinction between problems caused by the US attacks and problems which have nothing to do with September 11. “We have got to separate the new problem from the old, so we know what we are dealing with” so that efficient solutions can be found. The Minister pointed out yesterday that prior to the attacks on the United States, “there were European airlines in difficulty, including in the Balearics.” Cascos said that, for example, domestic passenger traffic to the Canary Islands has in fact increased over the past seven weeks, adding that there appears to be a sense of confusion in the airline sector which is only making matters worse, especially for staff and travellers.

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