The Dutch government plans to cut back annual flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport could cost the country an estimated €13.6 billion per year and increase ticket prices, according to a study from a campaign group against the policy.
The Red Schiphol Campaign, which was created to fight the planned reduction in flights at the airport, has commissioned the research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
The report found that the Dutch government’s intention to cut Schiphol’s capacity from 500,000 to 440,000 aircraft movements per year from November 2024 would reduce annual passenger numbers by 1.3 million, as well as cutting cargo by 180,000 tons per year, compared with 2019.
CEBR also said that the cap on flights could lead to higher flight prices from Schiphol – it used the example of London Heathrow where “constrained” capacity has increased short-haul fares by an estimated 17 per cent and long-haul prices by 25 per cent.
George Chichester, campaign manager for the Red Schiphol Campaign, said the flights cap was likely to have a “disastrous impact” on the Dutch economy.
"In 2019, Schiphol airport was responsible for over 90 per cent of the cargo coming into the Netherlands and 88 per cent of all passengers flying into or out of the country,” he said.
“It is unlikely that other airports will be able to handle the extra passengers or cargo that will be uncatered for under the flight cap, meaning the value from these two revenue sources is essentially lost to the Dutch economy.”
The Dutch government is facing opposition to its plans to cut Schiphol’s capacity on multiple fronts, with airlines already mounting a successful legal challenge to its move to temporarily reduce flights to 460,000 for the year starting in November 2023.
A court in the Netherlands earlier this month ruled against the government’s initial cut to flights. Although the government is to set to appeal against this decision.
Rowlando Morgan, head of the environment, infrastructure and local growth at CEBR, added: "This research shows that the decision will have significant adverse economic impacts on the consumers and businesses that rely on Schiphol airport."