Discount airlines making life hard for KLM at Schiphol: report

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Schiphol opened its doors for too many airlines and that is why the airport is now nearing its limit in flight movements, according to airline KLM. That means that KLM can no longer grow at the airport and that is bad for the economy, KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said to newspaper AD on Wednesday.

On Monday Schiphol announced that the number of flight movements at the airport increased by 6 percent to 479 thousand last year. Schiphol is currently allowed to only grow to 500 thousand flight movents until 2020. If the growth continues at the same rate, the 500 thousand limit will be reached before the end of this year.

As a result, the airport will only be able to grow a very small bit. Or an increase in the limit will be necessary. 

"If Schiphol indeed goes on lockdown, we have a problem", Elbers said to the newspaper. "Just when we as company again start investing in new flights and destinations, we risk running into a fix."

According to Elbers, Schiphol was too enthusiastic about attracting foreign budget airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet. "Schiphol says its surprised by the growth, but it was simply policy. I can imagine that local residents are angry that the limit is already being reached." he said. 

Elbers wants new negotiations with Schiphol, the government and local residents.