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Balearic officials beg Spain, EU to limit booze on flights

July 12, 2017

Balearic Islands authorities say unlimited consumption of alcohol has proven problematic on flights to the party havens of Ibiza and Mallorca. They hope to see more sober arrivals to the Mediterranean archipelago.

Tourists on a Mallorca beach
Image: picture-alliance /DUMONT Bildarchiv/H. Schwarzbach

The days of knocking down a few drinks on flights to Magaluf may soon be over, if the Balearic government has its way.

According to a statement published on the government's website on Wednesday, Director General of Tourism Pilar Carbonell asked the Spanish State Secretary of Tourism Matilde Asian to cap the number of drinks that a passenger can order on a flight in order to "guarantee security" and "combat anti-social tourism."

Read more: Drunken German tourist brawls with Mallorca street vendors

"The goal of this measure is to improve security for passengers, as well as strengthen security forces within airplanes and our islands' airports, where they often have to deal with intoxicated passengers," the statement said.

The Balearic government also took their plea for alcoholic moderation to Brussels. On Tuesday, the islands' representative team presented the European Commission with the same request during a working session on European transport.

With cheap flights and comparatively low prices, the Balearic Islands - especially Mallorca and Ibiza - have become hot destinations for millions of travelers.

Resort cities like Magaluf on Mallorca have gained notoriety for excessive drinking and drugs - with some episodes turning deadly.

One such example is "balconing," when an individual tries to jump from a building's balcony into a pool. Drugged-up or intoxicated jumpers have missed the pool and ended up either hospitalized or, in some cases, dead.

The drinks often start flowing before a plane's wheels have touched down on the Spanish isles. In May, police in Spain's Civil Guard had to board a Ryanair flight in the Mallorcan capital, Palma, that had just landed after a flight from Manchester in order to drag off three drunk men who had caused a disturbance throughout the flight.

British police have also been sent to Mallorca at various times in an attempt to control the rowdy British tourists who often vacation there.

According to the statistics published by the government of Mallorca, in 2014 the majority of foreign tourists to the islands came from Germany (around 4.1 million) followed by Britain (around 3.4 million).

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