After much uncertainty and backlash, Amsterdam Schiphol’s attempts to introduce a flight cap have been suspended by the Dutch Government.
Backtracking On An Initial Decision
Amsterdam Schiphol was slated to see a flight cap introduced in the summer of 2024.
As part of this flight cap, annual flights would be restricted over the current cap available to carriers, with a reduction moving towards 452,000 yearly movements.
Ultimately, moving ahead with this would be a negative step in the continued recovery and growth of the global aviation industry.
A decision to introduce a cap would mean the available slots into and out of the airport would be reduced, and airlines would be forced to cut flights.
However, the worst-case scenario for airlines not calling Schiphol home would’ve been the complete removal of slots into and out of the location.
Since conception, this endeavour was labelled as a “green” flight cap. However, it attracted a significant amount of backlash. Not just from the flying public but key airlines and other aviation companies.
The Dutch Government has now suspended the plan. However, it has not provided a specific reason behind the backtracking on an initial decision.
Notably, though, strong opposition couldn’t be ignored, with retaliation threatened against the Netherlands from other countries’ Transportation Departments.
A Controversial Public Statement
Amsterdam Schiphol has responded to the government’s experimental regulation being suspended controversially.
The airport calls the suspension of the planning flight cap as disappointing. Significantly, following the clarity and certainty it was proposed to give to residents.
Today it was announced that the Dutch government is suspending the Experimental Ruling. Schiphol is disappointed by the recent developments, as local residents are getting the short end of the stick. Reducing the number of flights is not a goal in itself for us, but the Experimental Ruling did provide clarity and certainty for local residents. Moreover, according to Schiphol, falling back on ‘anticipatory enforcement’ leads to more uncertainty, including for the aviation sector ittself. It is time that hindrance for local residents is noticeably reduced. The importance of a night closure of Schiphol is now becoming even more imminent. This also applies to the other measures in our 8-point plan, such as the ban on private flights and the banning of the noisiest aircraft.Amsterdam Schiphol Public Statement
However, the airport has received backlash from the public following this statement, with questions about how an airport could obtain such a stance.
Additionally, the public living near the airport was critiqued as the priority for Schiphol to act in the best interests of air travel, not surrounding neighbourhoods.
JetBlue Was Going To Be Kicked Out Of Schiphol
Before the suspension announcement, JetBlue was preparing to be kicked out of Amsterdam Schiphol. This is a direct consequence of the flight cap preventing newer entries to the airport from remaining.
JetBlue only recently commenced operations to Amsterdam Schiphol. Since launch, the route has been essential to their transatlantic route makeup.
Therefore, being forced to depart the airport under the proposed flight cap would’ve significantly affected their transatlantic network.
JetBlue said that the Air France-KLM Group should face restrictions when attempting to travel to North America from Amsterdam.
This action from JetBlue was to try and eliminate any potential advantage the group would gain over the U.S. carrier thanks to flight caps.
KLM Was Also Set To Be Impacted
According to a report from De Telegraaf, KLM, if the flight cap had gone ahead, would’ve joined the long list of impacted carriers.
Over a thousand flights towards the United States could’ve been at risk. Ultimately, it would’ve been a negative development with KLM’s extensive operation out of Amsterdam Schiphol.
Ultimately, for KLM, they didn’t want to be in a position where they lost flights towards North America. This is due to its importance as a market for the company and collaboration efforts with key carriers.