Saturday, 15 February 2020

Air traffic and transport figures for January 2020 released by Amsterdam's Schiphol

Air traffic and transport figures for January 2020

In the first month of the new year, the number of passengers rose by 1.4% compared to January 2019 and the number of flights to and from Schiphol rose by 1.0%, partly due to a number of cancellations in the same month last year. On average, the number of seats per flight was just under one seat more than last year. These developments resulted in a total of 5.1 million passengers travelling to, from or via Schiphol in January 2020. The number of cargo flights dropped to 1,011, a decline of 10.2% compared to January last year. As a result, the tonnage of cargo transported decreased by 7.8% compared to the previous year.

Passenger destinations

January saw nearly 3.4 million passengers travelling to and from European destinations (+2.2%), with destinations in Spain, Italy and Poland continuing to gain in popularity. The loss of WOW Air at the end of March 2019 is still clearly noticeable in the statistics, as air traffic to and from Iceland dropped by 30% compared to the same month one year ago. However, this is the only significant decrease in passenger volume within Europe.


The number of intercontinental passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol increased slightly (+0.2%) to a total of 1.6 million. The decline in Asia was 7.0% compared to January 2019 due to the withdrawal of Jet Airways, with the passenger volume to and from India in particular dropping by over 42%. The passenger volume to China rose by 2.4% in January compared to the same month last year. Part of the reason for this relative increase is that in 2020, the Chinese New Year was in January, while in 2019, it was in February.

Corona virus

In the last few days of January, the impact of the Corona virus on air traffic became clearly visible, particularly flights to and from mainland China. Many airlines responded to the outbreak of the Corona virus by temporarily discontinuing or reducing the number of connections from Schiphol to mainland China. The effect of these measures will be clearly apparent in the air traffic statistics for February.

Click here for the complete overview of traffic and transport figures for January 2019.

Royal Schiphol Group has drawn up an action programme to tackle the emission of nitrogen oxides. The programme intensifies the policy already adopted, as well as being in keeping with the goal that all airports should be emission-free by 2030. The programme provides for several new measures, including the installation of charge points for cooling lorries and hybrid lorries, the installation of Fixed Electrical Ground Power at every gate and the introduction of pushback tugs powered by electricity or hydrogen. 

‘We agree with the Remkes Committee that every sector in the Netherlands should help tackle nitrogen oxides’, says Dick Benschop, CEO of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. ‘Our goal is for our airports to be emission-free by 2030. This programme intensifies the approach we adopted a number of years ago. We can make great strides with measures that tackle multiple types of emission.’

The action programme is aimed at three aspects: transport from and to the airports, measures at the airports and tackling air traffic emissions.

From and to the airport

Schiphol Group stimulates sustainable public transport from and to the airports, including in a financial sense. For example, many electric buses and taxis drive from and to Schiphol, and the airport is contributing 70 million euros to improving the train and bus station. With regard to the longer term, Schiphol is advocating the extension of the North-South metro line to the airport as well as the extension of the railway from Lelystad Centrum to Lelystad Airport. Eindhoven Airport, too, is advocating a new railway station near the airport.

Measures at the airport

Schiphol is further working on far-going electrification of all traffic on the aprons. This is done, among other ways, by increasing the number of electric ground power units, installing Fixed Electrical Ground Power at all gates and increasing the number of electric vehicles and charge points. For the long term, Schiphol is working on sustainable taxiing of aircraft from and to the take-off and landing runways, and on pushback tugs powered by electricity or nitrogen.

Limiting nitrogen emissions by air traffic

Limiting nitrogen emissions by air traffic is a sector-wide challenge. Among other areas, Schiphol’s contribution involves improving flight procedures so that approaches require less engine power, resulting in reduced emissions. Schiphol is also helping to improve international train connections and advocating a more efficient distribution of air space.

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