Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Suspends 2024 Flight Cap Plans

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Suspends 2024 Flight Cap Plans

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Here’s a positive development, though the uncertainty and back-and-forth of all of this is simply absurd.

Netherlands government backtracks on summer 2024 flight cap

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was supposed to introduce a new “green” flight cap as of the summer of 2024. With this, Schiphol Airport was supposed to be restricted to 452,500 annual flights, down from the current cap of 500,000 flights.

This would’ve meant that dozens of smaller airlines would have been kicked out of the airport, while larger airlines would have had to reduce flights. There was a lot of controversy and uncertainty surrounding this situation, but as of a couple of weeks ago, it was officially announced this would be implemented.

Well, never mind, actually. Today the Dutch government has announced that it’s suspending this plan, so the status quo will be remained. I’d say that this is great news for consumers, and it’s also good news for smaller airlines like JetBlue, which would have otherwise been kicked out of the airport.

I’m happy to see this decision, but seriously, what the heck? The amount of uncertainty surrounding this has just been ridiculous.

I’m curious what ultimately made the government backtrack. The United States Department of Transportation had threatened to retaliate against the Netherlands, in the form of possibly restricting flights to the United States from Dutch airlines. Was that one of the reasons?

This latest update is great news for JetBlue

Schiphol Airport is “disappointed” in this decision

Following this announcement, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has issued the following statement:

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.

I think this tells you a lot about the bizarre incentives at play here:

  • Shouldn’t the people operating the airport be in favor of as much airport service as possible, since that’s how they generate revenue and serve the public? This would be like the owners of McDonald’s encouraging government regulation that forces people to eat healthier
  • Schiphol Airport is owned by Royal Schiphol Group, and Royal Schiphol Group is owned by the government, so why is the airport expressing disappointment in… the government?

This whole situation is just ridiculous and poorly thought out. While this is suspended for now, I imagine it’s not the end of new restrictions at Schiphol Airport…

Schiphol Airport won’t get a flight cap in summer 2024

Bottom line

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport won’t be moving forward with its summer 2024 flight cap after all. That’s good news for consumers, since it means there won’t be major capacity cuts next summer. Now, the issue is that the uncertainty continues, since I imagine this is still on the government’s radar, and more restrictions will be forthcoming.

What do you make of this latest update from Schiphol Airport?

Conversations (54)
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  1. Brad Guest

    Flying into AMS that last two summers has been particularly painful with a 90 minute customs line entering, and an over 2 hour line at security when departing. They seemed to be experiencing a major staffing shortage during peak season. My guess is they wanted to cap flights because they knew they were ill-prepared to handle the capacity for another busy summer--especially one with Olympics travel in Europe.

  2. Dusty Guest

    We as a species deserve everything we get. We are terrible stewards of our planet. Crazy how far we've fallen in just 30 years, considering how successful the Montreal Protocol was.

  3. Leigh Guest

    Gosh, the comments go crazy.

    Unless you live in The Netherlands (I don’t), it’s silly to comment on the politics. You don’t have the knowledge.

    But from an airline perspective, it’s a good thing.

    1. Samo Guest

      I love how many commenters are outright convinced that this has something to do with the US DOT :D It's always people with the least knowledge who are most convinced of their opinion...

    2. Sam Guest

      It's typical information bias.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "Unless you live in The Netherlands (I don’t), it’s silly to comment on the politics. You don’t have the knowledge."

      That's the least logical conclusion I've ever heard on here, lol.

    4. Leigh Guest

      So explain your logic?

  4. Erez Guest

    Great news. A more effective ban is limit the type of aircraft. So minimum 120 passenger aircraft. This would be better

  5. Peter Brown Guest

    Jet Blue is just like American nativists.

  6. Jaded platinum Guest

    Greta is going to be so upset by this....

    1. Ernest T. Rutger Guest

      Perhaps that child should STOP boating around the world and join the real world! Hate that miserable little puppet.

    2. Erez Guest

      Greta lost credibility when she intervens in Hamas israel fight. She thinks she has monopoly on justice.

  7. Tcdtcd Guest

    Such a “Dutch” response!! Lol!

    I spent 4 months there as a student, and “organizational skills” was not one of their strengths! Lots of ideas, poor/no execution!

  8. Rob Guest

    Not sure if it is a good news...maybe they should cut more flights actually - Schiphol still struggles with the basic service - if your flight is cancelled and badly delayed ( esp if you fly with KLM ) - you will have to deal with huge problems, queues and lack of any kind of support; personally I avoid Amsterdam and KLM like a plague. I don't believe the situation will improve significantly any time soon.

  9. Larry Guest

    At least there is one country concerned about emissions. But poorly handled.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Which country would that be?

      Because if you're naive enough to believe that anything sprang from actual concern for emissions, then congratulations: you're the mark.

  10. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    This is insanity and very sloppy. The Government needs to wipe the slate clean with management at the airport and start fresh. And "residents" that are upset need to move.

    1. XPL Diamond

      It is the Dutch government that is the cause of the insanity, and it is the voters who need to wipe the slate clean.

  11. John Haan Guest

    That is nuts! Worry about a few neighbors being inconvenienced? The whole world connects through AMS! Also, the airport was there years before the neighbors were. Todays aircraft are significantly quieter and more efficient than a decade ago, think of all the people who would face lost their jobs. Ticket counter and gate agents. Baggage handlers, fueling staff, catering staff…then hotels, rental car companies. Restaurants and in airport vendors. Hey gang, wake up and look...

    That is nuts! Worry about a few neighbors being inconvenienced? The whole world connects through AMS! Also, the airport was there years before the neighbors were. Todays aircraft are significantly quieter and more efficient than a decade ago, think of all the people who would face lost their jobs. Ticket counter and gate agents. Baggage handlers, fueling staff, catering staff…then hotels, rental car companies. Restaurants and in airport vendors. Hey gang, wake up and look at the big picture! I’m glad The Netherlands woke up and did the right thing!

    1. Icarus Guest

      The stupidity of the response from Schiphol Airport Authority that they are disappointed. The air should want to grow not shrink and lay off staff etc

  12. Chris W Guest

    Good thing I recycled that empty soup can today.

  13. N1120A Guest

    Excellent. The US using its power for good here.

    1. Toby Guest

      What a refreshing change….

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Yeah, mark it down folks:

      ....the ONE time that hegemony isn't being used to disenfranchise the greater public!

    3. Icarus Guest

      It was in fact mostly down to pressure from KLM who, along with a number of other airlines, are suing the airport authority. Even their CEO mentioned Jet Blue should be permitted to operate flights.

      The response from the Schiphol Airport Authority is a joke, that they are disappointed. It’s not in their interest to reduce flights and therefore lay off staff and reduce revenue .

  14. Engel Member

    At the end of the day, the Dutch will usually go for the most lucrative option.

  15. Exit Row Seat Guest

    I would imagine USDOT wasn't the only one throwing a fit with the Dutch. Lots of flag carriers at AMS have only one destination in and out of the airport. I'm sure these respective Asian & Euro governments gave their respective Dutch ambassadors an ear full.
    Also, AMS is a SIGNIFICANT cargo airport. Another batch of governments baying for the blood of the Dutch!! I can see why AMS turned tail.

    Yep, I...

    I would imagine USDOT wasn't the only one throwing a fit with the Dutch. Lots of flag carriers at AMS have only one destination in and out of the airport. I'm sure these respective Asian & Euro governments gave their respective Dutch ambassadors an ear full.
    Also, AMS is a SIGNIFICANT cargo airport. Another batch of governments baying for the blood of the Dutch!! I can see why AMS turned tail.

    Yep, I can see some type of time of day restriction and/or eliminate noisy airframes. Or auction off some slots like Heathrow. However, this trial ballon popped before it got off the ground.

  16. George Romey Guest

    If airlines pull back because the airport can't handle the proposed demand (which rarely happens in the US) that's a good thing. When they do it for woke points it's not a good thing.

  17. Scott Guest

    Sometimes growth is not good. Exceeding capacity leading to inability to provide proper service. Over crowding. Just like the over crowded lounges you write about and discuss possible ways to limit access. The airport is saying they can’t handle the volume. Dutch people are saying they’re having problems getting in and out of their own country. Big business says too bad. Suck it up and don’t impair our ability to earn more at any cost. What’s not to understand?

    1. VladG Diamond

      Capacity constraints should be solved by providing more capacity, not artificially limiting growth.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Except that the only reason capacity is allegedly being exceeded is because of refusal to grow, implemented for the same dubious reasons as this lazily-conceived cap.

      Akin to sticking thumbtacks in one's own feet, then complaining of inability to walk.

  18. Tim Dunn Diamond

    While this is probably a rare case where Delta and JetBlue are on the same page and each whispered into the DoT's ears, I suspect alot of other non-EU countries as well as the EU also told the Dutch to back off since AMS is in the EU, the Hague is not far down the road, and the moves made to cut AMS capacity have significant implications for the broader EU.

    There are ways to...

    While this is probably a rare case where Delta and JetBlue are on the same page and each whispered into the DoT's ears, I suspect alot of other non-EU countries as well as the EU also told the Dutch to back off since AMS is in the EU, the Hague is not far down the road, and the moves made to cut AMS capacity have significant implications for the broader EU.

    There are ways to change slot allocations but the Dutch didn't follow them.

    Still, many environmentalists have tried to push their agenda above everything else and outside of existing laws and this is a wakeup call that the western world is still governed by a rule of law.

  19. RF Diamond

    They should ban private jets and encourage airlines to upgauge.

    1. Parnel Member

      Lol they can't ban private jets, how would Greta visit?

  20. Kuloko Guest

    Why go with a piecemeal plan of just 10% reduction? I think Shiphol should go all way in with the green agenda - just close the entire airport!

  21. Flying Blue Guest

    The rumor is that the government is waiting for the AF\KLM takeover of SAS so they can add that in the mix and not hurt AFKLM as a company before they can move slots to CPH

  22. Steve Guest

    '...was local residents are getting the short end of the stick...'

    I think it is safe to say that most 'local' residents were aware that Schiphol existed prior to moving to its vicinity since the airport started commercial operations at the end of WW I. If the resident does not like the airport, and as far as I know Netherlands is a free country, the resident is free to move!

  23. Andy Diamond

    Ben, perhaps you don't fully understand how entrenched the environmentalists in Europe are. The cap was an attempt to get at least some of the more moderate ones out of their trench - which now has failed. This confirms the more extremist once in their fundamentalist stance.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Ben, perhaps you don't fully understand how entrenched the environmentalists in Europe are.

      Wait, hold up... you mean to tell us that the people who glue themselves to runways, might be a fanatical in their devotion/approach?!

  24. Ryan Guest

    It's being reported in the Dutch press that this is due to influence from the US government. So yes, the DOT definitely had a play in this.

    Having lived in the Netherlands for many years, I'm not surprised to see this reversal. It's often how things work here. A controversial decision is put out there, there's a lot of discussion and debate, and then often times there is a reversal/no-go when the decision is under...

    It's being reported in the Dutch press that this is due to influence from the US government. So yes, the DOT definitely had a play in this.

    Having lived in the Netherlands for many years, I'm not surprised to see this reversal. It's often how things work here. A controversial decision is put out there, there's a lot of discussion and debate, and then often times there is a reversal/no-go when the decision is under pressure or too controversial and common sense prevails. This happened regularly during COVID with the constantly changing measures and the various proposals around them. Above all, the Netherlands is a society where consensus is most important and people/bodies don't like to stick their neck out to make difficult decisions unless there's widespread consensus and support. This was never a very popular decision and then the DOT pushback finally drove common sense.

    And I can see why the airport is upset, because this is no way to make policy. They need consistency and a clear message of what is to come, rather than these types of flip flops that only add uncertainty beyond the short term. The airport and airlines need a long-term vision that they can plan around, rather than just a one-year suspension that will go through this entire process again in the future.

    1. Joe Guest

      One can also interpret that as a convient excuse to say it's not our fault It's another country, regardless of the validity of that accusation. If I was the Dutch govt I would be thrilled for that to be the narrative on social media.

  25. Domino Guest

    Careful referring to woke policies as absurd. You're risking the loss of some virtue signaling points.

  26. Nb Guest

    I love the people that voluntary decided to live close to an airport then complaints the airport is too noisy because I’m sure they did never notice how noisy an aircraft can be.
    On top of that a big part of residents close to Schiphol work at Schiphol, lol.
    Entitled first world people.

    1. Bob Guest

      That's how life works. Look at all the people who decided to drive for Uber and lyft and then complained that it's not a good full time job even though ride share was marketed as a side gig and not full time job. Inconvenient details.

  27. Tim Guest

    Collapsing in favor of an US administration.
    What a shame, politics as its best, to force KLM to reduce its most profitable routes !

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      What exactly is "a shame" about being reminded that you signed a particularly treaty, and thus don't have the freedom to unilaterally restrict, bind, and/or abrogate the subjects of said treaty?

      Did you put the slightest bit of thought into any of this?

    2. Bob Guest

      Not to mention many US allies benefits from not having to spend huge sums of money on defense because the US is at the front.

  28. SMR Guest

    Great news for sure! I do believe global warming exists but absolutely being handled wrong by most governments. De-forestation and placing cement where grass and dirt used to be is the largest cause by far for warmer air and worse weather. All this electric car and flight cap BS is a waste of energy and effort.

  29. betterbub Diamond

    Lol whoopsies

    Be funny if the US just went ahead with the retaliatory restrictions

  30. Never In Doubt Guest

    “ The United States Department of Transportation had threatened to retaliate against the Netherlands, in the form of possibly restricting flights to the United States from Dutch airlines. Was that one of the reasons?”

    Given the timing, yes.

  31. Steve Diamond

    "Shouldn’t the people operating the airport be in favor of as much airport service as possible, since that’s how they generate revenue and serve the public?"

    That is not how government workers think, they would rather work less and get paid the same if not more and disguise their laziness as being pro-environment. Simple really.

    1. thomas199023 Guest

      Especially Dutch government workers... They always like to show their political colours..

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Jaded platinum Guest

Greta is going to be so upset by this....

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

Which country would that be? Because if you're naive enough to believe that <i>anything</i> sprang from actual concern for emissions, then congratulations: you're the mark.

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SMR Guest

Great news for sure! I do believe global warming exists but absolutely being handled wrong by most governments. De-forestation and placing cement where grass and dirt used to be is the largest cause by far for warmer air and worse weather. All this electric car and flight cap BS is a waste of energy and effort.

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