Summer has arrived, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is still impacted by seemingly endless chaos, resulting from a lack of staff and resulting in flight caps for airlines. Unwilling to risk succumbing to the chaotic situation at the airport, several airlines have decided to take their business elsewhere.
Transferred to Rotterdam
For instance, Air Malta has already transferred six scheduled flights from Schiphol to Rotterdam The Hague Airport to reduce passenger inconvenience and disruptions as much as possible. Rotterdam was chosen due to its proximity to Amsterdam, minimizing disruptions to flight planning and operations.
The affected Air Malta flights are KM386/387, operating on Mondays and Wednesdays from July 11th to July 27th. On Mondays, the flight will depart Malta at 12:40, arrive in Rotterdam at 15:30, leave Rotterdam at 16:50, and return to Malta at 19:50. As for Wednesdays, the flight leaves Malta at 15:25, arrives in Rotterdam at 16:35, leaves at 19:40, and arrives back in Malta at 22:40.
Air Malta has moved flights to Rotterdam. Photo: Getty Images
Another airline joining the transfer to Rotterdam is Turkish leisure carrier, Corendon Airlines. Unlike the small scale of transfer that Air Malta has chosen, Corendon is choosing to move approximately 150 flights away from Schiphol and will be canceling about 35 more flights by merging with other flights or moving to smaller airports. The vast number of flights represents an estimated 25% of the carrier’s flights originally planned at Schiphol.
The airline said:
“Corendon has thus made a substantial contribution to reducing the number of passengers at Schiphol during the summer holidays and assumes that it will not have to cancel any more flights. We understand that some customers find it annoying to depart from another airport, but it is a better alternative than having to cancel the entire holiday.”
Only the flights directly provided by Corendon will be affected, as it is uncertain if the seats booked by Corendon on other airlines such as KLM and Transavia will be affected. Photo: Marvin Mutz via Wikipedia Commons
Usually flying at least 55 times a day from Schiphol, Transavia had to cancel over 200 flights, rebooking at least 70% of its affected passengers on replacement flights from different airports. This occurred despite the airline already having reduced the number of tickets for sale this summer. The alternative airports that Transavia will be operating from are Brussels, Eindhoven, and Rotterdam. However, approximately 30% of affected passengers could not be rebooked.
TUI operating out of Liège Airport
TUI fly Netherlands will also be moving part of its flights from Schiphol to Rotterdam and Liège Airport. The airline highlighted,
“Besides nearby Rotterdam, Liège, located just below Maastricht, has been chosen because the necessary slots and parking spaces are available there, and the opening hours are favorable.”
The extended opening hours at Rotterdam and Liège enables TUI fly Netherlands to operate two flights in a single day with the same aircraft, such as services to Gran Canaria and Ibiza. Additionally, the airline will benefit from enhanced customer support at Liège, as TUI fly Belgium already has existing operations at the airport.
TUI will station a Boeing 737 at Liège Airport. Photo: Jake Hardiman – Simple Flying
Schiphol comes up short
With smaller regional airports picking up the massive slack from Schiphol, it would seem that Europe’s third-largest airport is coming up shorter than anyone ever anticipated. The staffing shortages have unfolded into a problem of unforeseen magnitudes. Even Dutch pilots have expressed a desire to help with the airport’s security and baggage handling to ease the passenger queues. Unfortunately, security requires training and time, so the pilots could only be deployed to help with baggage handling. Even with the capacity limits at Schiphol and with airlines temporarily moving away, it is unlikely that the summer will be any less chaotic.