KLM expects that it will have to thin out its European network as a result of the downsizing plans for Schiphol. CEO Marjan Rintel estimates that the company will have 17 fewer flights per day in the summer of 2024, she said in an interview with the Bloomberg news agency. She’s waiting for official figures from the airport’s slot coordinator this week.
The Dutch government wants to cut the number of flight movements to and from Schiphol Airport from 500,000 to 460,000 in April and then down to 452,500. The measure is to reduce noise pollution around the airport – Schiphol has been exceeding its environmental permits on this front for years.
As Schiphol’s largest user, KLM is vehemently against the downsizing and is fighting it in court along with other airlines. According to the airline, the move will put its future and Schiphol’s hub function at risk.
The American airline JetBlue is at risk of losing its flight rights at Schiphol due to the cuts and has been pushing the United States government to retaliate, for example, by not allowing KLM to fly to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Rintel expects similar retaliation from other airlines.
“JetBlue will not be the only one,” Rintel said to Bloomberg on Monday. “There will be more to follow. If you reduce slots like this, without any comprehension of international agreements, then JetBlue is very offended with it, and rightfully so.”
KLM is very reliant on its global network, and destinations like New York are essential for the Dutch airline’s business model. “It’s not about today and tomorrow, it is about the future of KLM,” Rintel told Bloomberg. “It’s about the future of the economic position of the Netherlands in the world, and it’s about where we want to be.”
https://nltimes.nl/2023/11/01/schiphol-downsizing-will-cost-klm-17-flights-per-day-airline-says Schiphol downsizing will cost KLM 17 flights per day, airline says