The coronavirus is having a massive impact on the Netherlands' tourism sector. Nearly 60 percent of Netherlands residents have already decided to postpone their summer vacation plans, and half said they don't know if they'll go on vacation at all this year, the Netherlands' tourism board NBTC said based on a study by DVJ Insights.
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.
Entrepreneurs in the retail, hospitality, and travel sectors are currently much more negative about the economic climate in the Netherlands than a few months ago. More entrepreneurs expect the economy to deteriorate than expect it to improve, though on balance they still expect a higher turnover in the coming months, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday.
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
KLM will be flying from Hong Kong to Amsterdam at 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday, local time. The airline has been granted an exemption from the Dutch aviation authorities for the landing ban that applies to flights from the Chinese city, the Consulate General in Hong Kong announced. Dutch and residents of other EU or Schengen countries stuck in Hong Kong are advised to contact the Dutch airline, the Telegraaf reports.
Ten travel agencies in the Netherlands are calling for the establishment of an emergency fund to compensate travelers who need to cancel or change their booking due to a virus outbreak at their holiday destination. Currently travelers who want to cancel a trip to a risk area are dependent on the leniency of their travel organization when it comes to getting any money back, RTL Nieuws reports.
British airline Flybe was declared bankrupt on Thursday, the airline announced in a statement. All its flights have been grounded. At Schiphol Airport this means 19 canceled departures and 19 canceled arrivals for Thursday alone.
"If you are due to fly with Flybe, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline," Flybe said. "If you have a booking sold by another airline that includes travel on a Flybe flight, please contact the relevant airline or travel agent to confirm if there is any impact to your travel plans."
Dutch budget airline Transavia said it would eliminate several flights to Italy from mid-March through April because of the coronavirus outbreak there. The spread of the new viral strain, linked to Covid-19, has resulted in decreased passenger demand to the European country, the airline stated.
The travel industry does not have an action plan for dealing with the consequences of coronavirus Covid-19, Frank Oostdam of travel agencies' organization ANVR said to BNR. Now that the virus is spreading to holiday destinations like Tenerife, travel agencies are facing hundreds of questions about cancelations.
A massive sandstorm on the Canary Islands on Sunday and Monday resulted in hundreds of flights being canceled, and thousands of tourists being trapped at the airports. One family from Enschede spent hours at the airport on Gran Canaria on Sunday and Monday with five young children, mother Elske Trieschnigg said to Tubantia.
Dutch airline KLM transported a record number of 35.1 million passengers in 2019, an increase of almost 3 percent compared to the year before, according to figures the airline published on Thursday.
The fact that KLM was able to grow despite the fact that Schiphol has been at the limit of its allowed takeoffs and landings for some time, has to do with a higher occupancy rate, among other things. More seats were sold per plane, leading to KLM's planes being nearly 90 percent filled last year, NU.nl reports.
Every traveler who boards a plane in the Netherlands must be protected against the bankruptcy of airlines, according to travel companies’ association ANVR, travelers’ association ANWB, consumers’ association Consumentenbond, and travel guarantee fund SGR. On Monday they will submit a proposal for a guarantee fund for refunding individual tickets, the Telegraaf reports.
Dutch rail company NS and its Austrian counterpart OBB are working on an overnight train connection between Vienna and Amsterdam. OBB aims to run its 'Nightjet' trains between the two cities three times per week from 2021, the Telegraaf reports.
The train would be an extension of the OBB's current Nightjet passenger route between Vienna and Düsseldorf. The firm is also expected to announce service to Brussels.
Travelers guarantee fund SGR opened an emergency number for Dutch travelers who are currently on a vacation booked through Thomas Cook. On Monday evening it was announced that all Thomas Cook Nederland and Neckermann trips scheduled for Tuesday were canceled. Around a thousand Dutch are affected by this, NU.nl reports.
All Dutch flights scheduled for Tuesday on Thomas Cook or Neckermann were scrapped as the parent company continued to deal with severe financial problems. Thomas Cook Group Plc declared bankruptcy early on Monday, and the company assured travelers that those using the Dutch branch of the travel agency would still be able to complete their holidays.
British travel agency Thomas Cook ceased all its activities due to money problems, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded worldwide. The consequences for Thomas Cook Nederland, which includes Neckermann Reizen, are still unclear, a spokesperson said to NOS.
Travel organization TUI will no longer offer flights between the Netherlands and Paris from he autumn of next year. The company wants to do its part to protect the environment in this way and points out that Paris can easily and comfortably be reached by train, RTL Z reports.
A man from Slovakia ended up in a Rotterdam police station on Wednesday night, looking for help. The man was on his way to visit his mother in the English town of Rotherham, but instead accidentally bought a ticket to Rotterdam, the police said on Twitter.
The traveler was accidentally sold a ticket to the second-largest city in the Netherlands because "both his articulation and topographical knowledge are not very good", the police said. The man showed up at the police station with no money, and also no ability to speak either Dutch or English.
In the summer months of June, July and August almost 917 thousand people took a train from the Netherlands to a foreign country, NS International announced on Thursday. That is a 13 percent growth in passenger numbers compared to the summer of last year, NU.nl reports.
After major problems with refueling at Schiphol airport on Wednesday, the airport is expecting a "somewhat disrupted day" on Thursday. So far the Schiphol site reports 60 canceled flights and 43 delayed ones. Travelers are advised to check their flight status before leaving for the airport.
Amsterdam is the 32nd bucket list destination in the world, according to a ranking by global travel site Big 7 Travel. The site surveyed 1.5 million people about the destinations they most want to visit before they die. Bali in Indonesia came in first place, followed by New Orleans in the United States and Kerry in Ireland.
From next year KLM will be offering a direct flight between Schiphol and Las Vegas. "By adding Las Vegas as KLM's newest destination, we can offer our customers more flight connections to and from the American west coast", Pieter Elbers, CEO of the Dutch airline, said, AT5 reports.
Currently travelers can only reach Sin City from Amsterdam with one or more stopovers. But that will change as of June 6th, 2019. From then KLM will offer three direct flights from Schiphol to Las Vegas and back per week.
A westerly storm is forecast to hit the Netherlands on Friday. Schiphol therefore warns that flights from or to the airport may be delayed or canceled. Travelers are advised to check their current flight information before leaving for the airport.
Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow weather warning for a large part of the Netherlands on Friday. Winds up to 85 kilometers per hour are expected. Due to the strong winds, some of Schiphol's runways can't be used.
The airport already reports a large number of canceled departures and arrivals on its website.
A delegation from NS, ProRail and the Dutch government are in Germany this week to make a 4 hour train trip from Amsterdam to Berlin a reality within the next few years. They hope that shorter travel times will make the rail a real alternative to flying within Europe, NOS reports.