DALLAS — JetBlue Airways (B6) has been officially denied the right to serve Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) next summer due to capacity restrictions imposed by the Dutch government. Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL) confirmed the limitations on the number of slots available for all airlines operating at the European hub.
At the end of September, B6 filed a complaint with the DOT against the Netherlands and the European Union over the Dutch government’s move to curb traffic at AMS. In a letter, the Long Island City airline indicated that it understood from conversations with the Dutch slot coordinator that its brand-new take-off and landing rights would be revoked.
JetBlue kept the offensive, later stating its intention to ask US authorities to bar Dutch flag carrier KLM (KL) from landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) if B6 were denied landing and takeoff rights at AMS.
Needless to say, the planned capacity cuts at AMS have created challenges for airlines and sparked legal appeals from carriers like B6 and KL, who argue that the government’s implementation of the cuts does not comply with laws and regulations.
JetBlue began flying to AMS from the U.S. in August 2023. Currently, B6 flies nonstop to AMS from JFK and Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) using Airbus A321LR (Long Range) aircraft.
AMS Capacity Cuts in Detail
As part of the capacity cuts, airlines with historical rights to allocations at AMS will have to reduce their slots by 3.1% starting next year. B6, along with 24 other new entrants to the airport for the summer season, were not granted any landing and takeoff rights.
The Dutch government’s goal is to reduce annual flights at the state-owned airport by about 10% to 452,500 in order to mitigate noise pollution. This reduction in capacity has raised objections from airlines, including KL, which expressed its disappointment with its allocation for the upcoming summer schedule.
The Dutch flag carrier had already anticipated having to reduce 17 daily flights for the summer season, starting in March next year. Due to the capacity cuts at AMS, the partly government-owned airline will now have to eliminate some European destinations, impacting its long-haul business, according to Bloomberg L.P.
KLM is more affected by the slot cutbacks than any other airline. The Dutch airline has been flying to JFK for decades. As for B6, the East Coast airline and newcomer to AMS announced today that it had launched operations between JFK and St. Kitts and Nevis’s Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport (SKB). The inaugural flight arrived in St. Kitts this afternoon.
Featured image: N2151J JetBlue Airbus A321LR KBOS BOS. Photo: Marty Basaria/Airways