Forced landing for illegal entry? Migrants flee to the tarmac in Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca – How bold is that? Because of an alleged emergency on board, a plane from Casablanca (Morocco) is said to have landed on the way to Istanbul in Palma de Mallorca. A trick, as the “Mallorca Zeitung” reports: A group of migrants wanted to enter Spain illegally.

21 passengers got off, ran away and hid. And the supposedly sick person turned out to be very healthy during the medical examination! His companion ran away in the hospital. Another passenger was arrested for assaulting a police officer.

The airport operator “Aena” had initially tweeted that air traffic had been suspended due to an incident when passengers disembarked. Son Sant Juan Airport was closed for hours, and by noon on Saturday only half of the people had been discovered and taken into custody.

The alleged emergency

As the “Mallorca Newspaper“Reports, an emergency call came in at the airport at around 7 p.m.: A diabetes passenger on the AirArabia-Maroc plane was doing badly.

The pilots decide to land and come to a stop on the northern runway.

The AirArabia Maroc machine on the tarmacPhoto: imago images / Agencia EFE

An escalator is brought to the plane, an ambulance drives up. The supposedly sick person is briefly examined and – after his personal details have been recorded – taken to a clinic with an accompanying person.

Meanwhile, chaos breaks out in the plane, passengers rush to the exit. First of all, the crew can still prevent them from disembarking. But when the ambulance left the tarmac, the machine was left unattended and the police were initially not on site.

The migrants seize the opportunity, now leave the machine via the stairs that are still there. The Policía Nacional speaks of 21 people who have dropped out. They ran onto the runway and climbed over the airport fence in the dark. A passenger hit a Spanish police officer on the plane and was arrested, reported the “Mallorca Zeitung”.

Air traffic interrupted

Air traffic was then suspended in order not to endanger people who might be on the airport premises: 27 landings and 20 take-offs were affected, and the airport was closed until midnight. Incoming machines were diverted to Barcelona, ​​Ibzia, Menorca and Madrid, as well as two planes from Berlin. The AirArabia-Maroc plane did not take off again for Istanbul until 2.20 a.m. There were 24 passengers missing on board, all of them men.

By Saturday afternoon, the Civil Guard and the police had only been able to pick up twelve migrants. It is unclear where the others are now.

The airport building was also searched for the fugitive migrants

The airport building was also searched for the fugitive migrants Photo: EPA

What happens now to the migrants who have been caught?

A spokesman for the Policía Nacional told the Mallorca newspaper that they would now be treated like boat refugees who come to Spain across the Mediterranean. They would be registered in an initial reception facility. Then a procedure for repatriation to the country of origin is initiated, which can be stopped by applying for asylum or granting protection as a refugee.

The allegedly sick person is different: he must expect criminal proceedings on suspicion of favoring illegal entry and violation of the Aliens Act. Incidentally, his companion disappeared shortly after his arrival at the Son Llàtzer hospital …

Was the action planned?

It is still unclear whether the men acted as a group or whether some simply joined them. “So far we have no evidence that it was a planned action,” said the central government delegate in the Balearic Islands, Aina Calvo, at a press conference. But she didn’t want to rule that out either.


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