The position of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport as a leading transport hub in Europe is under threat, employers, unions and university experts say in Tuesday’s Telegraaf.
Schiphol urgently needs new vision and will either retain its current status or will decline into a regional airport, the experts say. They point out that 300,000 jobs are dependent on Schiphol, which generates €30bn for the economy.
In particular, the position of Dutch flag carrier KLM, now owned by Air France, is crucial, the Telegraaf says. The rise of government-backed competitors from Turkey and the Gulf States may threaten Schiphol’s role as an international hub.
Schiphol chief executive Jos Nijhuis is also keen to see the Dutch government doing more to guarantee the airport’s future, the paper says.
Unions, business leaders and experts will outline their views in parliament during a special hearing on Tuesday.
In May, the Financieele Dagblad said the Dutch government had intervened to stop the expansion of Gulf airlines at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport because of unfair competition with Air France-KLM.
The paper said junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld had frozen the Gulf airlines’ Schiphol landing rights. ‘I want, together with my European colleagues, to take a tougher approach to the rise of airlines in the Middle East if there is talk of unfair competition,’ the FD quotes her as saying.