Airlines angry they'll face much higher take-off and landing fees at Schiphol
Airlines reacted angrily to the higher costs that Schiphol wants to charge them for being allowed to take off and land at the Amsterdam airport. The rates will increase by 37 percent spread out over three steps through the end of March 2025. The increase is meant to help absorb the financial blow brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The Dutch airline trade association, BARIN, called this an unfair distribution of the burden.
The Dutch interest group previously reacted with disappointment to Schiphol's intention to increase airport charges by about 42 percent over the next three years. According to BARIN chair Marnix Fruitema, the reduction announced on Friday is marginal. He said he was surprised, because there were discussions with airlines about the matter. KLM, which has Schiphol as its home base, called the rate increase "disproportionate and unwise" because they threaten to wipe out the budding recovery.
KLM will file a challenge to the decision with the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). BARIN and budget airline easyJet are also considering the same.
Schiphol says the higher rates are necessary to cushion the blow caused by coronavirus. Because there were far fewer travelers during the pandemic, the airport missed out on 1.6 billion euros in revenue over the period spanning 2020 and 2021, according to its own estimates.
Schiphol says that the higher rates are necessary because of the corona crisis. Because there were far fewer travelers during the pandemic, according to its own estimates, the airport will miss out on 1.6 billion euros in income over the years 2020 and 2021. The higher airport charges are necessary to become financially healthy, said Schiphol CFO Robert Carsouw.
Schiphol is still by far the cheapest of the major European airports. This is because the fees are regulated in the Netherlands, which means that they cannot simply be hiked when the going is good, Carsouw said. "The gist is that we shouldn't make money in good times, but we shouldn't suffer losses in bad times either."
EasyJet calculated that passengers at Schiphol in 2024 will spend more than 40 euros in charges on top of the normal ticket price. Carsouw stated that it averages 38 euros, about 10 euros more than now, provided that companies pass everything on to its customers.
Schiphol also announced measures for greater sustainability. For example, airlines have to pay four euros per kilogram of nitrogen that they emit during landing and take-off. This tax is offset by a reward for using more sustainable fuel. They will receive rebates of 500 euros for every ton of biofuel, and 1,000 euros per ton of synthetic fuel purchased at the Amsterdam airport for refueling aircraft.
Reporting by ANP.