Fewer slots allocated at Schiphol due to shrinkage, no place for newcomers

NOS News

Airlines were told today how much they can fly to and from Schiphol next summer. 84 airlines operating at Schiphol are allowed to fly 3.1 percent less than they are entitled to.

This was announced by the slot coordinator, who is responsible for the distribution of the number of take-off and landing rights (the so-called slots).

For the Air France KLM group, which also includes Transavia, this means 5,700 fewer flights, says slot coordinator Hugo Thomassen. The summer period runs from April to October.

Shrinkage may continue

The outgoing cabinet wants Schiphol to shrink, mainly because of noise pollution for residents. The cabinet is taking the first step for next season; From April there is still room for 460,000 flights per year at Schiphol. That is why all companies are now making concessions.

KLM says it is disappointed. For KLM alone, this amounts to approximately 17 fewer flights per day than before the corona crisis, the company says. Airlines led by KLM went to court to stop the decline in the number of flight movements, but in appeal the State was right: the contraction was allowed to continue.

Airlines will still appeal to the Supreme Court, the last option to challenge a court decision. “KLM is focusing on the cassation case to demonstrate that the procedure followed does not comply with legislation and regulations,” the company writes in a response to the final distribution.

Newcomers left out

The slot coordinator says that the distribution will change if the Supreme Court rules that more flights may be operated. Initially, the slot coordinator would allocate more historical slots.

Historical take-off and landing rights are of great importance to airlines. When the companies use (a large part of) the allocated slots, they retain the right to that slot. Due to the shrinkage, the slot coordinator was unable to allocate all historical rights for next summer.

Newcomers without historical rights are therefore completely left out, including the airline JetBlue. That company has been active at Schiphol since the end of August, but the airline will not receive take-off and landing rights next summer. This also applies to 23 other newcomers.

The US Department of Transportation previously threatened in a letter to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management The Telegraph that KLM would also lose rights in the US if American airlines lose slots due to the shrinkage.

The outgoing cabinet is committed to further shrinking of the airport, to 452,500 flight movements. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is now following a procedure with the European Commission.

The post first appeared on nos.nl

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