Transavia moving flights abroad due to Schiphol downsizing plans; Ticket prices rising
Holiday flyer Transavia is increasing ticket prices due to the government’s plans to shrink Schiphol Airport. The KLM subsidiary also plans to fly more from abroad, CEO Marcel de Nooijer said in an interview with Parool.
If the government goes through with its plans to reduce flight movements at Schiphol from 500,000 to 452,000 annually next year, Transavia would lose 8 percent of its flights.
“We opposed this in court, who decided differently. An appeal against that ruling is pending before the Supreme Court,” De Nooijer said about airlines’ lawsuits against the government's downsizing plans. “It cannot be the case that an outgoing Cabinet then pushes through choices that have such a major impact on the economy, employees, travelers, and companies.”
Downsizing at Schiphol Airport will mean “fewer flights, fewer destinations, more scarcity, and higher ticket prices,” De Nooijer said. “Shrinkage of Schiphol is a political reality that is not supported by society. Look at the millions of travelers who went on a flying holiday this summer,” he said.
“The consequences of this political course must become clear: holidays will soon become an expensive, elitist affair, from which some Dutch people are excluded. That is so far removed from the Transavia DNA. We want to keep travel accessible to all Dutch people.”
Transavia started flying from Brussels last year. It currently has two planes stationed there and will increase that to four next year. “About 20 percent of the passengers come from the Netherlands. These numbers will increase next year due to the consequences of downsizing in the Netherlands,” De Nooijer said. “Downsizing is an incentive to more flights abroad. We are now looking at all foreign airports, especially in the border region.”
According to De Nooijer, the government’s goals with fewer flight movements - reducing noise pollution and emissions - are based on aircraft used at Schiphol in 2014. “The fleet is now considerably quieter and cleaner than the government predicts.”
Transavia and parent company KLM are investing heavily in newer, quieter, and cleaner aircraft. De Nooijer recently went to see Transavia’s latest acquisition at the Airbus aircraft factory in Hamburg. “We have now ordered 27, but there are also quite a few options. The first one will soon come to the Netherlands. That is good for us, our passengers, and the residents around Schiphol, Eindhoven, and Rotterdam because they make half the noise. In this way, we provide real answers and not an apparent solution like blunt shrinkage.”