Saturday 01 April 2023

Schiphol boss quits over airport chaos as more flight restrictions loom

Luggage piled up at Schiphol on Monday evening. Photo:

Schiphol chief executive Dick Benschop has resigned following months of chaos at the airport, but will stay on until a replacement has been found.

Benschop,  who has headed the Schiphol group since 2018, said there had been a lot of criticism of the way Schiphol had been tackling the problems and the way he had exercised his responsibilities as CEO.

‘I am leaving of my own volition to give Schiphol space to make a new start,’ he said in a statement to the press. ‘I do not want the attention centred on my person to become a liability for Schiphol.’

Benschop also said the airport would be announcing ‘new restrictions’ for the next few weeks today or tomorrow and that would be ‘bad news’. New measures concerning security at the airport will also be put in place shortly, he said.

Travellers have been hit by long queues for months because of the shortage of security and baggage handling staff and this week officials again urged airlines to cancel flights because of the problems.

Staff were paid a €5.25 per hour bonus during the summer period but the top-up payment has been largely scrapped since the beginning of September. On Monday, for example, 13% of security staff did not show up for work.

According to website, airport officials are asking airlines to cut services by as much as 18% in October.

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