Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, one of the international airports that became the face of travel chaos last summer, said this week that it will limit daily passenger numbers until at least March because of ongoing staffing shortages at the airport.
The airport, in a message, said that it “made this choice to provide travelers a reliable travel experience, and predictability and stability for airlines.”
Schiphol wouldn’t confirm what the capacity would be, but the expectation would be to keep the 20% capacity cut that it had been employing in October. Schiphol also said that it is working with airlines and with unions and security companies to come up with solutions to return to normal operations, but said it had little choice to cut capacity amidst an ongoing labor shortage.
Schiphol could potentially drop the limit at the end of January, as the airline said it will “look at whether more might be possible” starting then, however it is still committed to controlling the flow of passengers through security.
“Keeping to a maximum number of travelers is vital,” COO at Royal Schiphol Group Hanne Buis said. “We want to ensure the safety of employees and travelers and provide a more reliable airport process.”
KLM Royal Dutch, the flag carrier of the Netherlands that has its hub at Schiphol, said in September that it was “very disenchanted” with Schiphol after it was forced to cancel some flights because of Schiphol’s inability to handle the passenger numbers on Sept. 17 through 19.
“KLM understands that these measures are again highly inconvenient for passengers. We, therefore, wish to stress that these circumstances are unfortunately beyond KLM’s control. Given the short period of notice provided by Schiphol and the nature of its request, our ability to respond is very limited,” it said at the time.
“We would also like to reiterate our call for Schiphol to swiftly and effectively restore order at the airport so that passengers and airlines know what they are going to have to contend with – also in the longer term.”