Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to cap passengers over May holidays


Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has confirmed it will cap passenger numbers departing in April and May, including during the half-term holidays.

Schiphol officials have said that airlines will now need to book 5 per cent fewer seats between the morning peak hours of 6am and 1pm “to reduce the risk of unacceptable delays for travellers at check-in, security check and passport control”.

The major aviation hub on the outskirts of the Dutch capital stated that the average number of passengers during the May holidays will reach 66,000, although on peak days “the number of departing passengers will be well above 70,000”.

Although the airport is gradually expanding the number of daily passengers from the end of March from 400,000 for the last of the winter period, flights are still below 2019 levels.

The number of passengers that will be able to depart from Schiphol is 14 per cent higher than the number of passengers departing in the May 2022 holiday (58,000 passengers on average), however.

Dutch airline KLM has said it will not cancel any flights as a result of the caps, though it will have to sell slightly fewer tickets.

A spokesperson for KLM told Reuters: “It is disappointing that Schiphol is now forced to limit the number of departing passengers on peak days during the May holiday, albeit on a small scale.

“We want to emphasise that it is of the utmost importance that all parties at the airport continue to work on the recruitment of staff, so that travellers can travel with confidence in the long term.”

The news comes days after Schiphol airport officials admitted that 2022 was a record year for both disappointed customers and financial losses.

In an unusually blunt statement released on Friday (17 February), the major aviation hub on the outskirts of the Dutch capital revealed that the previous year had been characterised by poor customer experience and a loss of €28m (£24.9m).

Ruud Sondag, chief executive of the Royal Schiphol Group, wrote: “Never before in the history of Schiphol have we disappointed so many travellers and airlines as in 2022.

“Our efforts and hard work did not lead to the necessary improvements in the system and, as a result, we were not able to provide the service we wanted. 2022 will therefore go down as a bad chapter in our own history books.”


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