Delta, others sue Dutch government over Amsterdam Schiphol Airport flight cuts

Delta , a member of the KLM Group has joined forces with others in a law suit against the Dutch

government over its decision to cut flights to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The KLM Group includes Delta, Corendon, easyJet and TUI airlines are praying the courts for summary

proceedings against the Dutch government in a bid to keep the Netherlands connected to the rest of the

world via Schiphol Airport.

According to a Press statement issued by KCC, and copied the Ghanaian Times in Accra on Tuesday , the

airlines were challenging the government’s unilateral decision to significantly cut flight movements at

Schiphol, confident they could reduce noise levels and CO emissions, while maintaining a network of

destinations for the millions of passengers and tonnes of cargo they carried annually to and from


The airlines noted that “Along with violating national, European and international legislation, the

decision is unnecessary, damaging and lacks proper substantiation, given the airline industry is already

achieving significant results in relation to reducing CO emissions and lowering noise levels.

“For these reasons, KLM, KLM Cityhopper, Martinair, Transavia – all part of Air France-KLM Group

–urging the courts to safeguard the future capacity of Schiphol Airport.

“The KLM Group, which accounts for close to 60 percent of traffic at Schiphol, initiated this legal action

in line with parent company Air France-KLM Group’s position on the matter,” it said.

“Schiphol Airport makes a significant contribution to the Dutch economy by directly and indirectly

providing more than a hundred thousand jobs,” the release said.

“Every year, millions of people who across the Netherlands use the airport for business trips, vacations,

family visits or studies, while the airport’s international network makes it attractive to foreign

companies looking to establish themselves in the Netherlands.”

The airlines held that the Dutch government’s unilateral and sudden decision to reduce Schiphol’s

capacity from 500,000 to 460,000 flight annual movements (with the ultimate goal of reducing flight

movements to 440,000 by 2024) was incomprehensible.

“The airlines have already made multi-billion euros investments to meet near- and long-term goals in

line with their own decarbonisation trajectories as well as government policies, while the government’s

justification hinges on operational restrictions with no consideration of alternative workable solutions to

effect noise reduction.”

In addition to negatively impacting the Dutch economy, the capacity reduction would significantly

reduce travel options and connectivity for consumers, it said.

“Additionally, industry association BARIN has indicated its full support for this initiative.”

The initiative, the release said, was also fully supported by industry associations Airlines for Europe

(A4E) and the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) because the capacity reduction at Schiphol

had major implications for the EU’s single aviation market.

“In a further move, industry association IATA and a number of airlines will also be going to court to

initiate proceedings against the Dutch government.

“Management of the Airlines each released a statement with a firm resolve to take action.”

In an announcement by Marjan Rintel, President and CEO of KLM, he said “We are embracing the

targets set for reducing noise levels and CO emissions, investing billions in fleet renewal and SAF

procurement that will ultimately supersede these targets while maintaining our network that serves 170

destinations worldwide.

“This is good news for the millions of people who fly from the Netherlands with KLM every year whether

for business or leisure and for the cargo industry. As the government appears not to hear our call,

unfortunately we find ourselves compelled to take legal action.”

For his part, Delta Air Lines’ Executive Vice President External Affairs Peter Carter said “Delta is

committed to ambitious sustainability targets and wants to work collaboratively to meet these goals.

We firmly believe that it is possible and, indeed, necessary to properly balance sustainability priorities

with economic and wider societal interests.”

“We strongly object to capacity reductions at Schiphol Airport and remain actively focused on investing

in our fleet renewal and modernization program as the most effective way forward to mitigate noise

and environmental concerns.” General Manager TUI Netherlands Arjan Kers disclosed:

“The proposed measures will negatively limit Dutch travelers’ options. That is why TUI wholeheartedly

supports this action. The measures are contrary to (European) regulations and government policies that

have been in place for years and do not reward the efforts that have been and are being made by

airlines to reduce noise and emissions.” CEO Corendon Steven van der Heijden added his voice by

issuing another statement that said:

“Emphatic focus on rapid fleet renewal will reduce noise levels and emissions in the short term far more

effectively than imposing limits on capacity, which will only serve to put pressure on network

connections and holiday flights, driving passengers across the border.”

The CEO Transavia Marcel de Nooijer on behalf of his company said “Transavia finds itself compelled to

join the summary proceedings against the reduction of capacity at Schiphol to 460,000 flight

movements. As a company, we have made an important decision to investment billions in a cleaner,

more fuel-efficient and quieter fleet, so that we can continue to offer our passengers a pleasant trip to

beautiful destinations. Reducing the number of flights does not provide a solution and will not have the

desired effect for local residents and the environment.”

The Country Manager of easyJet, William Vet also declared: “By choosing to pursue an arbitrary flight

cap the Dutch government totally disregards both the efforts made by the industry to decarbonise as

well as the socio-economic benefits of aviation, significantly reducing connectivity.

BY Times Reporter

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