Monday, 4 September 2017

Get out of Schiphol if you go to Lelystad says KLM boss

Budget carriers should get out of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport if they go to the new Lelystad airport which is scheduled to open in 2019 according to KLM boss Pieter Elbers

Speaking to local media the KLM president said that he thinks budget airlines should be made to give up some slots at Schiphol if they plan to start routes from the new airport.  He believes that the rapid influx of low-cost carriers and charter flights at Schiphol is threatening the airport’s prime position as a major European air transport hub because they are taking up slots which KLM could use to expand its global network.

In the worst case scenario, claims Elbers, big international firms could leave the Netherlands or simply not coming to the country in the first place if the global network is not kept up to scratch, he said. ‘The first flight to Bangalore adds more than the umpteenth to Barcelona,’ he said.

The KLM president also believes that big inward investors like Huawei and Yamaha have chosen to locate their European operations in the Netherlands partly because they can reach the whole world, ‘Schiphol’s growth has to come from air connections which add to the intercontinental network,’ he said. ‘KLM and its partners are the biggest source of such flights.’

When Lelystad airport opens, the government wants it to be the main base for holiday charter traffic in order that slots at Schiphol can be freed up for long-haul trans-continental flights. 

Schiphol is further limited by a restriction on the number of flight movements they are permitted to handle each year - it's presently capped at 500,000 per year.  The current restriction lasts until 2020 but it iis believed that the government are looking into whether it is realistic to maintain such a cap when growing global demand may dictate a higher number of flight movements may be required to maintain Amsterdam's position. 

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