Schiphol poised to cancel holiday flights, thousands will be affected
The Schiphol airport authority will announce later on Thursday how many flights will have to be cancelled during the summer period because of a shortage of security and baggage handlers, the Telegraaf reported.
The news means hundreds of thousands of holiday makers will either be disappointed or will have to book new flights, the paper said. ‘The call centres are ready. It is dramatic,’ one source told the paper.
The airport authority had asked airlines to voluntarily cancel some services in an effort to keep queues down, but none have been prepared to do so on any significant scale.
A letter from tour operator association ANVR to its members says the cancellations will affect ‘several hundred thousand travellers’ and that those aiming to go away between mid July and mid August will be worst affected.
The ANVR has brought in legal advisors to look into taking Schiphol to court. ‘The airport does not consider itself to be responsible for the damage and this is completely unacceptable,’ the leaked letter to tour companies states.
The Netherlands is not the only country where main airports are struggling to cope with post coronavirus staff shortages. Many other airports in western Europe are facing similar problems and in Britain too flights have been cancelled.
Schiphol has been grappling with the problem since the May school holidays. Hundreds of flights have been scrapped and travellers banned from arriving at the airport more than four hours before their flight in an effort to keep down the queues.
The Telegraaf said Schiphol, KLM airline association Barin are still in talks about the cuts and have declined to comment.
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