Travel org’s furious by Schiphol's plans to cut flights; Necessary, union says
Travel industry association ANVR is furious that Schiphol is putting its problems on the airlines’ plates, ANVR director Frank Oostdam said. Schiphol announced Thursday evening that it would process fewer passengers this summer due to ongoing staff shortages, so airlines must sell fewer tickets and cancel flights. Trade union FNV called the measure “painful but necessary.”
“There will be great financial damage on our side,” said Oostdam. The leading Dutch association for travel agencies, tour operators, and other industry-related companies already announced it would sue Schiphol for the damages caused by the chaos at the airport. It is now waiting to see what will come of the consultations with the airlines to get an exact picture of the damages, the ANVR said.
The ANVR fears that many travel organizations could go bankrupt as a result of Schiphol’s problems. Also because travel organizations are legally obliged to pay for the costs of canceling holidays, including hotel stays and excursions, and can’t always recover all of that costs.
Schiphol said on Thursday that there would be an average of 13,500 passengers too many in July if all aircraft were full. That is almost 17 percent of the number of plane seats planned per day on average. The airport slot coordinator is calculating what this means per airline. They will hear the outcome next week.
BARIN, the interest association for airlines, told ANP that Schiphol took action too late and its plans won’t have the desired effect. “BARIN is well aware that these challenges also exist at other European airports, but we regret every cancellation here at Schiphol,” the association said to the news wire.
According to trade union FNV, it is painful but necessary for Schipol to reduce the number of travelers at the airport this summer. Joost van Doesburg, FNV project leader for Schiphol, estimates that the airport will reduce the number of passengers by around 20 percent.
“We fully understand what is happening,” he said. “The workload was way too high.” Van Doesburg called the measures Schiphol announced “firm” and a “good step in the right direction.” He expects the plans will affect all airlines that fly to and from the airport.
KLM already said that it does not expect to have to cancel many flights due to Schiphol limiting the number of passengers that can use the airport. The Dutch airline thinks it can limit its passengers enough by selling fewer tickets so that existing bookings are not affected on a large scale.
Reporting by ANP