Over the year’s Amsterdam Schiphol airport has won many awards – indeed as recently as 2021 it was voted Best Airport in Europe by the readers of Business Traveller.
But since May 2022 Schiphol has experienced a myriad of problems about which we have reported.
Most recently we reported that the airport continued to face staff shortages which could mean the current cap (scheduled to expire end March 2023) could be extended for months.
Then yesterday came news from Reuters that, wait for it, Schiphol is being asked to cap passenger numbers through until September 2024.
The previous cap was set at 500,000 flights a year. As we previously reported, the Netherlands’ Government wanted this reduced to 440,000 but the airport now confirms that the limit will be set at 460,000 flights.
What does it mean for the passenger? It’s too early to say if the peak queues will return in 2023. But it does mean new routes will be limited and that underperforming routes are likely to be cancelled sooner than planned.
One example being JetBlue which been unable to secure slots.
This latest reduction is more to do with environmental concerns rather than staff shortages.
For its part home airline KLM is doing its best to encourage travellers to arrive by surface transport rather than one of its short feeder flights.
Schiphol itself welcomes this move and together with NS (Dutch Rail) and KLM it has been working on rail-air initiatives.
We reported on the first of these developments, a link between KLM and rail operator Thalys, last week.
Other rail links mooted include ones to Dusseldorf, Berlin and London. But in all honesty these have been found to be impractical for one reason or another at the present time.
The situation may well change in future as rail-air develops further.
Look out for our rail-air report in the April issue of Business Traveller.