Over 700 flights delayed or cancelled at Schiphol; Strong winds expected through 4 p.m.
Airlines either cancelled or delayed over 700 flights scheduled to take off or land at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam. The airport said it was hopeful that affected passengers would still be able to continue on their journeys on Wednesday, despite the impact from Storm Poly. The storm brought strong wind gusts peaking at 146 kilometers per hour.
"Schiphol is working with airlines to allow as many travelers as possible to depart today. Airlines are rebooking passengers on available alternative flights departing today or in the coming days," Schiphol said in an update at about 3 p.m. Passengers on cancelled flights were advised to contact their airline.
At that point, airlines had cancelled 180 flights departing from Schiphol, and another 198 set to arrive at the airport. A total of 182 departures were also delayed throughout the day, as well as 173 arrivals. The number of cancellations was expected to rise well above 400.
"Earlier today, severe restrictions were in place for airlines to land and depart. This was due to a combination of strong gusts of wind, rain and poor visibility," the airport stated in its update. "The number of flights to and from Schiphol will gradually increase in the course of the afternoon, because the weather conditions are improving," the airport added. "Schiphol expects the flight schedule to be disrupted for the rest of the day."
A spokesperson for Transavia told ANP that its scheduled flights were already largely sold out because of the start of the Summer holiday season, but also for passengers rebooked from cancellations before the storm hit. The airline is trying to take a more flexible approach by allowing passengers to rebook with other airlines if they cannot work out a solution with Transavia.
In the latest bulletin to pilots regarding Amsterdam airspace, air traffic controllers said Schiphol was likely to allow only a small number of planes to land through 5 p.m., when operations should begin to return to normal.
The situation was not nearly as bad at other regional airports on Wednesday afternoon. About 80 flights in total were scheduled to arrive or depart from Eindhoven Airport from the start of operations through 4 p.m. There were some delays, which were almost entirely kept below 30 minutes with a few exceptions. There were no cancellations announced on the airport's website.
There were a handful of delays at Rotterdam The Hague Airport, and few cancellations.