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More Travel Chaos at Amsterdam Schiphol, CEO Steps Down
The summer of problems and delays that has been plaguing travelers all around the world, especially in Europe, shows no sign of fading away. Even as the official end of the summer in the northern hemisphere is quickly approaching and will come in just a few days, some airports are still experiencing the knock-on effects of their inability to keep up with air travel recovery in the post-pandemic world.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the most important airport in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe as well as the main hub for Dutch flag carrier KLM has been experiencing delays, cancelations and very long wait times for its passengers since last spring, and during this last week, it has known one of its worst days so far.
On Monday, September 12, the airport requested airlines to cancel flights between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. due to labor shortages. “After weeks of improvement, Schiphol did not expect to have to take these measures. Employees in the terminal are working as hard as they can to ensure that everyone can travel today, but unfortunately, there is a chance that travelers will miss their flight due to long waiting times,” the airport said in a statement as reported by Reuters.
A few days later the airport notified the airlines and the traveling public they will be reducing daily passenger numbers by 18% until October 31, and this is due to the same labor shortages that caused the extraordinary measure of September 12 and that mainly concerns the number of security agents available to staff entry points.
Photos of passengers in line outside the passenger terminal at Schiphol were reported by newspapers around the world as the airport is also establishing strict check-in guidelines for passengers: those wishing to travel on flights departing Schiphol and showing up at the airport more than four hours before their departure time will be turned away, but those arriving later than that may actually risk not making their flights.
CEO Resigns Following More Labor Shortages
Just before the weekend started the CEO of Schiphol Airport Dick Benschop decided to step down from his role with immediate effect, although he agreed to remain in charge until a successor could be selected. ”A lot of attention, and criticism, has been directed towards the way in which Schiphol is tackling the problems and my responsibility as CEO,” he said as reported by Flightglobal.
” On my own initiative, I am giving Schiphol the space to make a new start. I do not want the attention on me as an individual to become an obstacle for Schiphol. I have done my very best, but we’re not there yet. I hope that things improve soon. I love Schiphol. Managing this company was a great honor.”
Passenger statistics show that Amsterdam Schiphol handled approximately 5.3 million passengers last August, which represents a 40% increase over 2021, but it is still 21% below the pre-pandemic level. The Dutch Government is also in the process to implement a law that would require a 12% cut on the number of flights to tackle noise pollution around the area.
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