Airline KLM has filed a damages claim against Schiphol airport for delays during the May school holiday weeks. The Dutch flag carrier would not comment on the amount of the claim but earlier said it would run into several million euros, the Telegraaf said on Wednesday.
A KLM spokesman confirmed the damages claim on Tuesday evening after it was announced on a TV news programme. The spokesman said the airport authority was aware of the claim.
Many passengers missed their flights because Schiphol was so busy in May, with some people waiting up to three hours to clear security and other controls. KLM says as well as the cost of removing baggage, rebooking passengers and other issues, its image was damaged by the delays at the Amsterdam airport.
KLM has been complaining that Schiphol cannot adequately handle its increased passenger numbers for some time. Fearing the peak summer travel period, KLM president Pieter Elbers demanded a structural solution to the problem in May.
Schiphol acknowledged the problem and opened additional doors to the security area. This week it announced that passengers with hand baggage only would be given prioity at security control.
The number of air passengers using Dutch airports grew by 9% to 15.5 million in the first three months of the year, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.
The lion’s share of the passengers were at Schiphol, followed by Eindhoven which handled 1.1 million passengers in the first three months of the year, a gain of 20%, the CBS said.
Rotterdam/The Hague airport actually saw a decline in passenger numbers as did Maastricht airport. Groningen in the north registered an increase of 30% although it handled only 31,000 passengers in the period.
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