KLM warns that flight movement cuts will hit its network

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Airline KLM says it may have to ditch some 30 destinations to meet Schiphol and cabinet air traffic reduction plans, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

The cabinet wants to reduce flight movements at the biggest Dutch airport from 500,000 to 440,000 a year for the next five years to slash pollution and noise problems, and the airport authority is also urging airlines to cut flights because of staffing shortages.

KLM has now written to the Dutch parliament, outlining the impact of the plans on its operations, the FD said. KLM is offering flights to 163 destinations this winter and scrapping 30 of those would mean a reduction of almost 20%.

In its briefing, the airline said direct flights to Istanbul, Kiev and Belgrade could go, as could intercontinental services to places such as Boston, Taipei and Osaka, the FD reported. The Dutch flag carrier is responsible for some 50% of the flights in and out of Schiphol.

The cuts, the airline said, will damage the Netherlands’ reputation as a good place to do business, arguing that companies like Samsung and the European Medicines Agency have located here because of the good international air connections.

Infrastructure minister Mark Harbers said in June the reduction in flight movements is necessary to cope with noise and other forms of pollution.

A ‘new balance’ is needed between ‘the importance of a good international airport, a good business climate and the importance of a better and healthier living environment’, Harbers said.

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