International pressure sees Schiphol flight cuts suspended

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Airlines, Airports, News

Under the weight of international pressure, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) has suspended plans for next summer’s capacity cuts. If the proposed plans were to move ahead, it would see the number of flights at Schiphol cut to around 450,000.

Mark Harbers, Infrastructure Minister, said in a letter to parliament, the decision was a “bitter pill to swallow”. But added that the government remained “committed to restoring the balance between Schiphol and its living environment.”

The latest changes comes after the US threatened “countermeasures” arguing the planned cuts violated the US-EU Air Transport Agreement.

Previously, IATA has said that pushing through the flight cuts would be “irresponsible on several levels,” citing the below in a robust defense of their stance:

  • It will demonstrate a contempt of the necessary democratic and legal scrutiny required of such a highly irregular and economically damaging proposal.
  • It will place the Netherlands squarely in conflict with its trading partners defending their rights under international agreements and bilateral treaties.
  • It should provoke the EU to defend its own laws which require rigorous application of the Balanced Approach.
  • It will cause significant harm to the economy and jobs.

As the industry works to address the sustainability challenge, this high profile case is sparking conversation around the role government will play as we move forward. The Financial Times described AMS’s planned cuts as “a litmus test of the ability of governments to try to limit flying to tackle climate change.”

Do you think this is the last we will hear on the AMS cuts or is there more to come?


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