Airlines to Sue Dutch Government over Schiphol Reductions 

Airlines to Sue Dutch Government over Schiphol Reductions 

DALLAS — A group of airlines will file a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the Dutch government’s plan to reduce the number of flight movements at Schiphol Airport (AMS), the largest in the Netherlands and the second largest in the European Union by passenger volume.

The airlines are highly critical of the plan to reduce flight movements by 8% this year and further in 2024, resulting in a total reduction of approximately 60,000 flights at the airport each year.

All KLM Group airlines, Corendon (XC), EasyJet (EC), TUI (X3), and Delta Air Lines (DL), the latter of which owns nearly 3% of KLM’s parent company, plan to join the lawsuit. KLM (KL), Transavia (HV), KLM Cityhopper, (WA), and cargo carrier Martinair (MP) are all part of the KLM Group.

“The airlines maintain that the Dutch government’s unilateral and unexpected decision to reduce Schiphol’s capacity from 500,000 to 460,000 flight annual movements (with the ultimate goal of reducing flight movements to 440,000 by 2024) is inexplicable,” according to a joint statement on Friday.

Schiphol Tower. Photo: Ikreis, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Noise vs Movements

The Cabinet’s plan to reduce the number of flights at the airport is intended to improve both the environment and the quality of life for those who live near the airport. However, the aviation industry claims that the Cabinet is being shortsighted and breaking promises that have resulted in significant investments by airlines in recent years.

Specifically, the airlines charged the Cabinet with violating Dutch law, European law, and international rules by ordering the reduction without first conducting a more thorough assessment of their position. The carriers also claimed that the Cabinet failed to adequately substantiate claims about current and near-future noise and pollution levels.

 The joint statement notes that “the airlines have already made multi-billion euros investments to meet near- and long-term goals in line with their own decarbonization trajectories as well as government policies, while the government’s justification hinges on operational restrictions with no consideration of alternative workable solutions to effect noise reduction.”

Featured image: KLM

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