DALLAS — Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) plans to increase its take-off and landing fees by 14.8% in 2024 to offset the financial impact caused by travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airport’s Chief Financial Officer, Robert Carsouw, acknowledged that the airlines are not pleased with the fee hike. However, he emphasized that it is essential for maintaining the quality of services at AMS and for the airport’s financial stability. He also mentioned that the legislation governing airport charges prevents AMS from profiting in good years while also prohibiting losses in bad years.
The strict legislation overseeing airport charges at AMS requires any surplus revenue to be returned to the airlines if it exceeds the costs of servicing them. These charges are used to cover the expenses of maintaining and providing facilities and services used by the airlines, such as runway upkeep, security, terminal maintenance, and cleaning.
Legal Complaints Amount Against AMS
Airlines have reacted strongly to the announcement, expressing their dissatisfaction with being charged for taking off and landing at the Dutch airport. According to nltimes.nl, the country’s airline trade association, BARIN, further criticized the perceived unfair distribution of the financial burden.
In response to the tariff hikes, several airlines have filed lawsuits against the airport. They had previously complained with the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) two years ago, but the regulator dismissed it. KLM (KL), easyJet (U2), and the trade organization IATA have now requested the Trade Appeals Board (CBb) to review the decision.
The CEO of KLM, Marjan Rintel, has warned that flight ticket prices are likely to increase as a result of these higher fees. The rise in ticket prices is attributed to factors such as environmental and aviation taxes, as well as the downsizing of AMS.
The news comes on the heels of US government approval of complaints by JetBlue (B6) and trade group Airlines for America (A4A) against the government of the Netherlands and the European Union for alleged violations related to capacity cuts at the airport.
Featured image: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with KLM aircraft seen from above. Photo: KLM