After last weekend saw significant delays and various cancelled flights at Schiphol, the airport has now called on airlines to scrap flights in order to prevent large crowds and another weekend of chaos.

Understaffed Dutch airport calls on airlines to cancel flights

Fearing long queues and significant delays, management at Schiphol Airport has called on airlines to cancel flights this weekend to ensure that ground staff are able to cope with the number of passengers. The Dutch airport has asked airlines to cancel some bookings for this weekend and has asked them not to accept any new bookings between May 2 and May 8.

“It is an annoying but necessary measure to reduce the numbers of travellers, in order to manage the crowds in the right direction together with our partners,” a spokesperson explained. Staff advise anyone who has flights booked for this weekend to get in touch with the relevant airline if they have any questions about their trip. 

KLM confirms over 100 flights from Schiphol have been cancelled

In response to Schiphol’s request, KLM has confirmed that 108 flights scheduled for Friday, April 29 will be cancelled. “KLM will shortly be meeting with Schiphol to discuss which more structural solutions they have in mind,” the airline informed staff.

Meanwhile, KLM partner Transavia has informed the Dutch press that they will not cancel any additional flights following the airport’s request. “We have already cancelled flights and adjusted our schedule lately. We will fly what is now on the schedule. We will warn our passengers to get to the airport on time,” a spokesperson told NOS. Similarly, EasyJet has announced that no flights will be cancelled, but did advise passengers to keep track of the up-to-date flight information ahead of their trip.  

Travel organisations TUI and Corendon have also assured passengers that no flights will be cancelled this weekend, explaining that as they offer travellers package holidays and not just individual flights, any last-minute changes to the schedule would affect holiday plans for hundreds of families.

New collective labour agreement for KLM and Schiphol staff

Last weekend, large crowds and a lack of staff led to chaos at Schiphol. With the airport facing severe staff shortages following the coronavirus pandemic and with more staff members off sick, Schiphol Airport was already prepared for what was likely to be one of the busiest weekends of the year as a result of the school holidays. However, an unexpected strike amongst KLM baggage handlers on Saturday morning led to significant delays and cancelled flights, leaving many holidaymakers disappointed. 

Since last weekend, three of the major Dutch trade unions have come to an agreement with Schiphol and KLM management. The new collective labour agreement should see wages for staff increased by 2,5 percent plus an additional one-off bonus of 500 euros. The new agreement also states that board members no longer receive bonuses.

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