More known about Schiphol cancellations next week
Travel organizations and airlines expect more clarity next week about who can and cannot join flights from Schiphol in July. This weekend, the slot coordinator will try to divide up how much each airline will have to limit its capacity. After that, the companies themselves will start deciding exactly how they want to arrange this.
Schiphol announced on Thursday evening that it would be able to process fewer passengers this summer due to continuing staff shortages. In July, according to the airport, there are about 13,500 seats too many every day if all planes are completely full. Director Frank Oostdam of the travel industry association ANVR estimates that the companies will know exactly what is being asked of them early next week, possibly Monday.
However, it will not immediately be known how many flights and bookings have to be canceled, he explained. Oostdam emphasized that 13,500 seats does not necessarily equal 13,500 travelers, because not all tickets have been sold yet for some flights. In that case, airlines can also choose to stop the sale of seats that are not yet occupied.
The travel organizations are currently dealing with a "tsunami" of questions and phone calls from customers who want to know where they stand, the ANVR foreman said. But he added that unfortunately they have to be patient for a while.
Chairman Marnix Fruitema of BARIN, the interest group of airlines active in the Netherlands, thinks that Monday is probably still too early for clarity. He thinks travelers won't be able to be informed until next week.
Both the companies and the travel organizations hold Schiphol liable for all financial damage as a result of the measures. BARIN leader Fruitema thinks that it will soon be more than 100 million euros in damage for companies, but he is not yet able to make a real estimate. That also depends on what will be announced next week.
The ANVR has already announced on Thursday that it will take Schiphol to court. Just like Fruitema, Oostdam does not yet dare to estimate how high the damage is. Looking purely at the holidays that have to be canceled, including hotels and excursions, for example, the sum quickly amounts to tens of millions of euros, according to him. But if turnover that the travel organizations could will miss out on is also taken into account, the damage could possibly amount to hundreds of millions, according to the ANVR boss.
Reporting by ANP