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Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport Asks Airlines to Cancel Flights to Deal With Overcrowding and Staff Shortages

Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport Asks Airlines to Cancel Flights to Deal With Overcrowding and Staff Shortages

a sign on the side of a building

Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport has reportedly written to airlines asking them to cancel flights and stop taking new bookings in order to relieve overcrowding at the airport which has been caused by a surge in demand coupled with severe staff shortages.

Overcrowding and delays have plagued the Netherlands’ largest airport and one of Europe’s main transit points since the beginning of the Spring holiday season.

Last weekend, Schipol told passengers to stop coming to the airport altogether after a wildcat strike by ground workers at Dutch flag carrier KLM Airlines grounded flights. Although the strike was resolved after just a few hours, the knock of effects were felt over the course of the weekend.

For the past week, Schipol airport has continued to warn passengers that they could face severe delays and says queues might be moved outside to avoid dangerous overcrowding in the terminal buildings.

The airport has admitted that along with exceptionally high demand, many of the problems are down to staff shortages – a combination of high sickness rates, as well as struggling to recruit back jobs lost during the course of the pandemic.

Dutch media reports that executives at Schipol airport wrote to airlines earlier this week asking them to cancel flights over this weekend in order to relieve pressure at the airport. Officials admitted in the letter that there was no short term fix to the problems facing the airport.

Schipol also reportedly asked airlines to stop taking new bookings for flights scheduled over the next few weeks.

Several airlines have allegedly refused the request, although KLM is expected to cancel some flights. This could be, however, more down to its own staff shortages which is an issue facing airlines across Europe.

View Comments (2)
  • Maybe if Schipol would stop requiring masks (with nearly 80% vaccination rates in the Netherlands) more people would want to work at the airport. Just a thought.

    • I know both Schipol and KLM are unhappy about the current mask rules and staff have a fairly relaxed attitude to mask wearing. The Dutch government, however, insists that masks must still be worn airside and on planes.

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