Airlines are furious about a transport ministry proposal which would force them to move flights to 89 destinations, mainly in southern Europe, to Lelystad airport when it opens to charter flights in two years time.
‘It shall be prohibited to airlines to start a flight from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to destinations which are designated by ministerial regulation as leisure destinations,’ the consultation papers say in English.
‘Criteria for the designation of leisure destinations will be determined by ministerial regulation.’
The Schiphol ban would apply to destinations which are not capital cities and which lie between 700 and 4,000 kilometres from Schiphol. It includes all Greek, Portuguese and Croatian destinations apart from Athens, Lisbon and Zagreb as well as many cities in Turkey, Spain and Morocco.
The government argues that keeping Schiphol’s international network is crucial and that by moving holiday traffic, it will be able to grow within current noise restrictions. ‘
Easyjet, the second biggest airline at Schiphol, says the new proposal is discriminatory and favours KLM. For example, Belfast International Airport, where KLM flies, is not affected but Belfast City Airport is on the banned list.
Dutch travel firm lobby group ANVR said in its reaction: ‘So Dutch travellers who are going on a family visit to Spain will have to give way to travellers from Bangalore who are on their way to visit family in Denmark via Schiphol.’
Transit passengers also add little to the Dutch economy, the organisation said.
The proposal will have to be approved by the European Commission before it can become law.
One key criteria for Brussels is the availability of good public transport between the two airports, the NRC said. Lelystad airport is hard to reach by public transport and there are no plans to give it a train station.
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