MIAMI — The Dutch Government is blocking the Gulf carriers from expanding at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. According to the newspaper Financieele Dagblad, the government cites “unfair competition with Air France-KLM” as the reason for its actions.
The paper also says that KLM and other airlines are dealing with increased pressure from the Big Three Gulf Airlines on routes to the Middle East. Air France-KLM says that expansion of Middle East carriers in Amsterdam will have an impact on employment in Amsterdam.
Etihad and Emirates both operate twice-daily round-trip flights from Amsterdam to their respective hubs in the Middle East, and Qatar Airways is planning to launch flights between Doha and Amsterdam next month.
The Dutch’s Government Actions
In particular, the government is working to stop Gulf Airlines from obtaining more landing rights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport which is the sixth busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic.
European Union Currently Negotiating
So far, representatives from the E.U. have remained quiet on the Dutch’s actions. Although, they are currently working with the Gulf states on an air treaty which includes clauses on state financing.
Gulf Carrier’s Expand Beyond Europe
“Expand further from European hubs into the US? Yes we might do that,” Clark was quoted by The National newspaper. “The kind of abuse we’ve been getting might cause us to do it. And after Milan, we can see how profitable it is. If the Danes or the Swedes were to come to us and say ‘we haven’t got enough flights into the US, would you consider it?’, yes we might do that.”
Government Actions Further West
American, Delta, and United are pushing for the U.S. government to impose similar restrictions on the Gulf airlines; they want the Gulf carriers’ expansions to be stopped until the Obama administration has enough time to thoroughly review the U.S. airlines case and make a decision whether the Gulf carriers are violating the Open Skies agreement.