DALLAS — The European Commission (EC) has announced that it will not pursue punitive actions against Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS), as JetBlue (B6) will be able to continue operating from the airport. The EC expressed satisfaction with this development, as it helps protect competition in the transatlantic market, particularly on the Amsterdam-New York route.
The European cabinet government saw B6’s entry into the Amsterdam-New York and Amsterdam-Boston routes in late 2023 as a positive move to ensure consumers would have more choice and access to transatlantic travel. However, initial slot allocation at AMS and plans to reduce flight movements at the airport to decrease noise and carbon emissions threatened B6’s operations starting from the summer travel season in March 2024.
The EC stated it was prepared to intervene with interim measures if B6 did not secure appropriate access to AMS for the IATA Summer 2024 Season. The situation regarding B6’s operations at AMS was ultimately resolved through pressure from the United States and the EC. Further negotiations took place, and B6 secured the necessary slots to continue operating throughout the summer of 2024.
During the dispute, B6 asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to intervene and called for Dutch airlines to lose access to airports in the United States as retaliation. It was estimated that KLM (KL) could potentially lose up to 1,135 slots at U.S. airports due to these limits.
Still, after the airport walked back on its controversial plans, it announced that it would implement a “limited reduction” in capacity in 2024 to alleviate pressure during peak times. The EC has stated that it will continue monitoring the situation at the airport before the IATA Summer 2025 Season.
Featured image: Amsterdam-Schiphol Tower AMS EHAM. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways