In April nearly 134 thousand passengers traveled to, from, or through the five national airports of the Netherlands, a decrease of 98 percent compared to April last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday. Freight transport decreased by 25 percent to 103 thousand tons transported weight. The decreases are largely attributed to restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
EasyJet plans to start flying from Schiphol again from July 1, the airline announced on Tuesday. The number of flights will be lower due to reduced demand, but the airline plans to ultimately fly to 35 destinations from the Amsterdam Airport, NU.nl reports.
"Thanks to the routes we will be flying again from July onwards, business travelers can make their essential trips again, people can be reunited with friends and family abroad, and hopefully also go on summer holidays if measures allow this," William Vet, manager of EasyJet Netherlands, said to the newspaper.
Greenpeace activists occupied a runway at Schiphol airport on Thursday morning to protest the billion euros in support going to the polluting aviation sector during the coronavirus crisis. The environmental organization wants strict sustainability conditions to be attached to this aid.
According to NH Nieuws, the activists are occupying the Aalsmeerbaan, currently used to park KLM planes. They brought a small bridge with them to get across the ditch that separates the public road from the secured area at Schiphol, and bicycles to get to the runway as quickly as possible.
Last year the Koninklijke Marechaussee refused 2,800 people entry to the Netherlands at Schiphol airport, an increase of 20 percent compared to 2018. People were turned away because they did not have the right travel documents, or had fake documents, or unbelievable reasons for visiting the Netherlands, for example. The Marechaussee attributes the increase to more effective detection, NOS and De Telegraaf report.
The first repatriation flight from Morocco landed at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at around 00:30 a.m. on Monday. The Boeing 767 of travel agency TUI departed from Casablanca on Sunday evening. There were around 300 Dutch aboard, according to AD.
The passengers on the first repatriation flight involved Netherlands residents with an urgent need to get home, such as people who need medicines or medical care.
Schiphol is very vulnerable to cyber attacks, the Court of Audit concluded after investigating the cyber security of the border control systems the Koninklijke Marechaussee uses at the airport. Two of the three systems are not properly protected against cyber attacks, NOS reports.
A shipment of 800 thousand masks arrived at Schiphol from China on Monday morning, Minister Martin van Rijn for Medical Care confirmed on Goedemorgen Nederland. The shipment also included 30 thousand pairs of protective glasses, and 30 thousand insulating coats, the Minister said on Twitter.
According to broadcaster NOS, the masks involved are professional FFP2 masks, which were quality checked and approved by the Netherlands in Shanghai. An agreement on this was made with the Chinese government, the broadcaster writes.
The number of passengers who flew to and from Schiphol Airport in March was 56 percent lower than in the same month last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday. The number of flights decreased by 37 percent compared to March last year. The massive drop in passenger numbers has to do with measures and restrictions in place to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Netherlands residents are divided about how to deal with the coronavirus crisis in combination with the climate crisis. 13 percent think that all attention must now be given to fighting Covid-19, and the fight against climate change should be put on the back burner. But 28 percent see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to rebuild the Netherlands in a more sustainable way, according to a survey by I&O Research.
About 67 percent of people believe the coronavirus restrictions in place in the Netherlands will last for six months or a year, a survey of Dutch people showed. The report, released by I&O Research, showed that about a third of the public was already concerned about their personal financial situations, less than three weeks after the government began imposing stricter measures on the public to combat the spread of the virus.
Schiphol Airport went smoke-free starting on Wednesday, closing the last of its designated smoking areas located in the secured parts of the airport. Smoking was already forbidden in areas outside of security checkpoints.
The square outside Schiphol Plaza, known as Jan Dellaertplein, is the last remaining place where passengers and visitors may smoke at the airport. The airport plans to move the smoking areas there further away from the plaza’s entries and exits.
The opening of Lelystad Airport, intended to take over holiday flights from crowded Schiphol, has again been delayed, this time due to the coronavirus crisis. The planned opening at the end of this year is no longer feasible, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure said in a letter to parliament on Tuesday. The aim is now to open the airport in November 2021, she said, NU.nl reports.
Passengers on flights from New York will not be subject to extra screenings when they arrive at Schiphol airport. Their temperature will not be measures and they won't be asked about symptoms, a spokesperson for Schiphol said to RTL Nieuws. "That is currently the policy in the Netherlands. That policy is determined by the government, not by Schiphol," the spokesperson said.
New York was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Of the over 2 thousand deaths in the country, over 700 happened in New York.
A total of some 19 thousand Dutch people are still stranded abroad by restrictions implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 and looking for a way home, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to broadcaster NOS. The Ministry is doing "its best" to get them home, but that's not always easy, Blok said.
The Netherlands is currently discussing special landing rights with Panama, Suriname, Columbia and Peru, to send flights to repatriate Netherlands citizens
Some 43 coronavirus patients died in the Netherlands since Saturday, with the nation now mourning the loss of 179 people, public health agency RIVM said on Sunday. The agency also announced that another 573 tested positive for the virus, pushing the total number of diagnosed patients to 4,204, nearly four-times the number of patients recorded on March 15.
Just one week ago, the total number of patients in the Netherlands was 1,077. By that date, a total of 20 people who tested positive for the virus had died, a figure which has increased by 800 percent in the past seven days.
Over 30 people have already been turned away from the Dutch borders since the entry ban came into force on Thursday at 6 p.m., the Marechaussee confirmed to NL Times. Most travelers who were denied entry into the Netherlands were turned back after landing at Schiphol Airport, while two travelers were turned back at Eindhoven Airport, the military branch said.
So far, no denials of entry have been made at any of the Dutch land borders or seaports.
Dozens of countries and territories implemented emergency measures to contain or prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in their lands on Saturday. While Dutch airline KLM said it would work to repatriate passengers, its subsidiary Transavia recommend people scheduled on cancelled flights quickly rebook their tickets to an available option if possible.
As a response, the Dutch government updated its travel advice to 14 different countries. A short description of these advisories follows this article.
Two airline passengers were arrested separately at Schiphol Airport this month carrying a combined total of about 275 thousand euros in cash. Both men were caught at airport security checkpoints, and neither had a valid reason for holding the money, authorities said.
The first suspect is a 38-year-old Ukranian man who was found with 195 thousand dollars (€174,600) in a plastic bag inside his backpack. He was destined for Ecuador, but was taken into custody on March 1, said the Marechausseee, the military branch tasked with protecting Dutch borders and airports.
The Netherlands will begin banning the arrival of flights from several countries among the most affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The decision will affect flights from China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea, said Infrastructure Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen on Friday after a meeting with Cabinet members.
Donald Trump's decision to ban flights between Europe and the United states is "potentially very drastic", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday. "We have very intensive relationships, a lot of people- and a lot of trade traffic." The Minister will examine whether the travel advice for the United States needs to be adjusted, he said to NOS.
United States president Donald Trump banned entry to flights from Europe for 30 days starting on the night from Friday to Saturday. This has to do with coronavirus Covid-19. Schiphol will definitely be affected by this ban, the airport said in a brief statement, adding that it is mapping out "what this means exactly for flights to the U.S."
The entry ban exempts countries outside the Schengen Area, like the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Due to coronavirus Covid-19, KLM is canceling all its flights to Venice, Milan and Naples in Italy until at least April 3rd, the Dutch airline announced on Wednesday. Earlier this week, KLM said it was canceling some 25 percent of its flights to the southern European country. KLM flights to other Italian destinations are still running according to schedule, RTL Nieuws reports.
Three men were arrested at Schiphol Airport on Monday evening after a loaded gun was found in their possession, the Koninklijke Marechaussee said on Facebook on Wednesday.
The firearm was discovered during a routine check of a car with three people inside on the airport's departure passage. During the check, a Marechaussee officer noticed that one of the passengers was acting very nervously. He tried to escape the check by getting out of the car, throwing a bag into the back seat as he did so.