Schiphol yields to critics, takes measures to relieve queues


Schiphol airport has agreed to take measures to ease overcrowding and will open emergency doors in departure halls to accommodate the rise in passenger numbers, the Financieele Dagblad said on Tuesday.

Schiphol will also have staff members in the departure halls to help passengers who fear they will miss their flights because of the delays. Some people have been forced to wait up to three hours to get through check-in and security.

These measures were announced Monday evening after a meeting called by caretaker junior infrastructure minister Sharon Dijksma with Schiphol CEO Jos Nijhuis, KLM president Pieter Elbers and Frank Allard director of Barin which represents airlines operating at the airport.

KLM has said it literally lost millions of euros because of the delays at the airport in recent weeks. The carrier is looking into possibilities of lodging damages claims against Schiphol.

No repetition

‘Ultimately it is in the interests of KLM, Schiphol and the Dutch state to ensure these problems are not repeated,’ Dijksma said.

Passenger traffic at the airport has grown very quickly in the past few years and is expected to reach the 500,000 flight movements cap this year. KLM blames budget carriers like Easyjet and Ryanair for the higher passenger numbers and, as Schiphol’s biggest customer, is calling upon the airport to limit this growth.

Schiphol handled 8.6% more passengers in the first quarter of 2017, the airport sector organisation ACI Europe reported on Monday. ACI said passenger numbers at European airports grew by an average 6.9% in the period.

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