The personnel problems at Schiphol airport cost Dutch flag carrier KLM €175 million in the third quarter of the year, the airline said at the presentation of its third quarter figures on Friday.
Of that, €30 million is down to compensation for passengers and the rest is lost income due to cancelled flights between June and the end of September, KLM said. The bill for charter subsidiary Transavia was €55 million.
‘Of course you want to use all the capacity you have, but we could not do that and that cost us money,’ chief executive Marjan Rintel is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS. She replaced Pieter Elbers in July.
Despite the chaos at the airport, KLM booked operating profit of €433 million in the third quarter, while sister airline Air France booked €570 million. The combined group booked third quarter net profit of €466 million.
Rintel told NOS the chaos at Schiphol was ‘unbelievably annoying’. ‘We have been flying for 103 years and have an outstanding reputation, and Schiphol was known as one of the best airports in the world. But that reputation has taken a hard knock,’ she said.
Schiphol has been struggling to deal with shortages of security and baggage staff, and has reduced capacity since May. Airlines are currently being asked to scale back passenger numbers by 13% up to March.
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