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Schiphol airport costs under spotlight

Friday 06 February 2009

The transport ministry is to investigate the cost of flying from Schiphol airport because of 'serious concerns' about the airport's declining competitive position on the international market.

Transport minister Camiel Eurlings told MPs on Thursday evening that the research group would come up with recommendations within two months.

Scrapping the controversial flight tax introduced last July could not be ruled out, Eurlings said.

That tax - €11.25 on short-haul and €45 on long-haul flights - has been blamed by the airport authority and airlines for making Schiphol less popular.

Last year it emerged that the number of Dutch people traveling via Germany's Weeze airport just over the border by Arnhem had gone up 300%.

The ministry's investigation will focus on the costs of security, air traffic control and other elements which add to the cost of flying, Eurlings said.

Only London's Heathrow airport is more expensive that Schiphol to fly from, the minister said.

The number of passengers using Schiphol fell 9.4% in December but the number of transit passengers - who do not have to pay the flight tax - remained unchanged. 'The situation is extremely serious,' the Volkskrant quoted Eurlings as saying.

Last year MPs agreed with a new growth plan for Schiphol, which envisages it handling 589,000 aircraft movements by 2020 - over 150,000 more than it does now. This involves shifting some 70,000 charter and budget airline flights to regional airports.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

The rip off fares charged by KLM to fly from AMS don't help. For the same dates, same fare class same destinations the price difference is amazing.

AMS MAN AMS Dep 13/03 Ret 16/03 Take off fare 245 Euro

MAN AMS MAN Dep 13/03 Ret 16/03 Take off fare 129 GBP

Ryanair fly from Weeze for 30 euro each way. Why are KLM ripping off their Dutch customers?

By Andrew | 6 February 2009 10:05 AM

Quite right Andrew. This isn't rocket science. Long-haul (on-line) example. Return flights:AMS to Bangkok, 640 euros
LHR " " 424 "
Ryanair to LHR 70 "
Assuming that journeys to and from airports cancel each other out, using LHR instead of AMS would save a family of four (no concessions) 584 euros.

By Michael Dawkes | 6 February 2009 12:24 PM

Re the Minister's claims about LHR being more expensive than AMS Schiphol: example 2. KLM (via on-line 'cheap ticket' website) offer,
LHR - AMS - Mumbai, 355 euros return.
(AMS - Mumbai leg by North West Airlines)
Using KLMs website they offer,
AMS - Mumbai return (also by North West Airlines)for 646 euros.
Dear Minister, Is this dysfunctionality KLM's fault or is KLM just another victim of Schiphol's "flexible" pricing structure?

By Michael Dawkes | 6 February 2009 1:47 PM

I have been flying KLM for 10 years now and the prices have gone way up. For the past 2 years I've been using other airlines for my international routes. KLM...lower your prices already!

By Brock Davis | 6 February 2009 8:44 PM

I recently priced KLM "Reward" flights for 2 adults to London UK. Price for taxes and surcharges totalled 272 Euros. It is cheaper to fly by Easyjet than to take the "free" flights earned throgh their loyalty programme.

KLM - Definitely time to address your pricing strategy.

By CB | 9 February 2009 10:27 AM

It is a very good thing,

By name | 30 July 2009 3:10 AM

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