The airport was first established as a temporary military airport during the Spanish Civil War, and remained open after the conflict for use as an emergency airport. In 1949 the site was used to operate some domestic and international tourist flights, but was then closed in 1951.
It was not until 1958 that work commenced to re-open the airport in reaction to the rapid development of the tourist market in the Balearic Islands, particularly in neighbouring Majorca. The airport was reopened on 1 April 1958 with the first destinations during that year including Palma, Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid. It is also used as a seasonal base for Vueling.