Airport officials confirmed the shortfall yesterday, despite consecutive increases in passengers this month and last. The main reason for the winter rise in passengers is that Palma is being used more as a “hub” by the German airlines - while passenger figures may be up, most are just transferring from one flight to another and not actually coming to Majorca - hence the hotel occupancy for the New Year is between 40 and 80 per cent with some resorts deserted with no hotels open at all over the winter. This weekend will be busier than the final weekend of last year at Palma airport. Son Sant Joan will handle 84.000 passengers over the weekend, 9.6 per cent more than 2001, with the tower controlling 928 flights - 14 per cent more than last year.

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