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Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to cap passengers over May holidays

"This means 5pc fewer seats can be booked,” the airport says


Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (file photo)

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (file photo)

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (file photo)

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has said it will cap passengers departing daily at 66,000 during the May holiday period.

The number is up from 40,000 at present, but still below 2019 levels.

The airport said it means that 5pc fewer flights could be booked than airlines would have liked on peak travel days.

"Schiphol believes a five per cent easing of the busy morning peak is needed to reduce the risk of unacceptable delays for travellers at check-in, security check and passport control,” it said.

"This means 5pc fewer seats can be booked.”

Like other airports, Schiphol suffered from long lines and delays during much of 2022 due to shortages of security staff, baggage handlers and ground crews.

Now under new management, the Dutch airport says it and various other companies operating there have made steady progress in hiring staff.

However, private security firms are still short several hundred workers and labour unions have warned shortages and growing discontent over pay among baggage handlers could lead to new problems this summer.

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KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM, said on Wednesday it would not have to cancel any flights during the May vacation period as a result of passenger caps.

However, a spokesperson for the company said KLM would be obliged to sell fewer tickets on the Dutch market.

"It is disappointing that Schiphol is now forced to limit the number of departing passengers on peak days during the May holiday, albeit on a small scale," the company said.

KLM, which says it suffered more than €300 million  in lost revenue in 2022 as a result of the problems at Schiphol, said it had taken into account remaining possible shortages in its own staff as part of its network planning.

"We want to emphasise that it is of the utmost importance that all parties at the airport continue to work on the recruitment of staff, so that travellers can travel with confidence in the long term," the KLM spokesperson said. 

Additional reporting by Pól Ó Conghaile 

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