Lelystad airport will not be open for commercial flights until 2019 at the earliest, a year later than planned, junior infrastructure minister Sharon Dijksma has told MPs.
The airport is being expanded to take holiday charter traffic so that Schiphol can focus on transfers and trans-continental flights. However, its is proving more difficult to work out the complicated network of landing and take-off paths than expected, Dijksma said.
Eventually, Lelystad will be able to absorb 45,000 take-offs and landings a year.
Airlines and holiday companies are not keen on the move to Lelystad. ‘Our customers don’t live there,’ a spokesman for holiday firm Arke said last year. ‘We’ve done research and Schiphol is an attractive airport because of all the facilities. Lelystad is further away, takes longer to get to and is therefore unattractive.’
However, Irish budget airline Ryanair is prepared to buy up ‘all the slots’ at Lelystad airport, ‘if the price is right’, commercial director David O’Brien told the Telegraaf last month.
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