November 3, 2023 –SCHIPHOL – KLM Group will lose 5,700 slots at Schiphol Airport next summer due to the downsizing plans at the airport. EasyJet is losing 700 slots. And 24 airlines won’t get any slots at the airport, including Jet Blue, which has been trying to convince the American authorities to retaliate against KLM over this matter, according to the slot allocation published by Airpot Coordination Netherlands on Thursday.
The Dutch government wants to cut the number of flight movements to and from Schiphol Airport from 500,000 to 460,000 in April and then down to 452,500 the following winter. The measure is to reduce noise pollution around the airport – Schiphol has been exceeding its environmental permits on this front for years.
A total of 9,100 slots will disappear at Schiphol next summer, and another 8,000 in the winter, slot coordinator Hugo Thomassen told the Financieele Dagblad. All airlines with historical rights must give up 3.1 percent of their requested slots.
The KLM group – KLM, Air France, Transavia, KLM Cityhopper, and Martinair Cargo – will lose 5,700 slots, or an average of 27 slots per day next summer. The KLM Group is Schiphol’s largest user, occupying a 63 percent market share at the airport.
KLM is vehemently against the downsizing and is fighting it in court along with other airlines. According to the airline, the move will put its operating model and Schiphol’s hub function at risk. KLM CEO Marjan Rintel recently told Bloomberg that she expects the downsizing plans will cost KLM 17 flights per day.
For EasyJet, for example, the downsizing means 700 fewer slots than the airline wanted next summer.
The slot coordinator rejected 24 requests from airlines that didn’t have “historical rights” at Schiphol. The American airline Jet Blue, which has been between Schiphol and New York and Boston since August, also lost its slots and will have to scrap the route next summer.
Jet Blue has been pushing the United States government to retaliate, for example, by not allowing KLM to fly to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. KLM CEO Rintel expects similar retaliation from other airlines.