In order to relieve overcrowding at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, which has been caused by a rise in demand combined with acute staff shortages, the airport has reportedly written to airlines requesting that they cancel flights and stop taking new bookings.
Since the start of the Spring holiday season, the Netherlands’ major airport and one of Europe’s primary transit points have been beset by overcrowding and delays.
After a wildcat strike by ground staff at Dutch flag carrier KLM Airlines stopped flights last weekend, Schipol advised travelers to avoid the airport entirely. Despite the fact that the strike ended after only a few hours, the ramifications were felt throughout the weekend.
Schipol airport has been warning passengers for the past week that they may experience significant delays and that lines may be relocated outside to avoid dangerous congestion in the terminal buildings.
The airport has stated that, in addition to the unusually high demand, many of the issues are due to staff shortages, which are the result of a combination of high sickness rates and the inability to replace jobs lost during the pandemic.
According to Dutch media, Schipol airport administrators wrote to airlines earlier this week, requesting that flights be canceled over the weekend in order to reduce pressure at the airport. Officials admitted in the letter that there was no quick answer to the airport’s difficulties.
Schipol is also said to have urged airlines to cease taking new reservations for flights booked in the coming weeks.
Several airlines are said to have turned down the request, while KLM is anticipated to cancel some flights as a result. This could, however, be due to its own staffing shortages, which are a problem for airlines all around Europe.