Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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There’s a new planned flight cap coming to Amsterdam Schipol Airport (AMS) in 2024. The Dutch government — and the airlines that fly in and of AMS — have been embroiled in a years-long battle, but now authorities plan to press forward with limiting the number of flights.
Here’s what travelers should know about the initiative that’s taking shape.
Amsterdam Flight Cap
Currently, AMS has the ability to accommodate up to 500,000 flights per year with a proposed goal of growing to 540,000 flights.
However, the Dutch government, along with Schipol Airport itself, wants to cap flights at 452,500 per year, which is 9.5% below 2019 levels. That number is even lower than a previous proposal of 460,000 flights.
“Aviation can bring the Netherlands a lot that’s good, as long as we pay attention to the negative effects for people that live near the airport,” said Transport Minister Mark Harbers in a statement announcing the cap, which will go into effect in 2024 pending approval from the European Commission.
What Airlines Are Saying
The decision by Dutch authorities is fiercely opposed by flag carrier KLM and airline industry groups. In fact, KLM sued to try to prevent the cap at AMS, one of Europe’s busiest airports. However, just last month, an appeals court ruled that the government could move forward with the cap.
“It is hard to imagine such a drastic decision being taken,” said KLM CEO Marjan Rintel. “We satisfy the needs of millions of people wanting to discover places around the world: to conduct business, to reunite families, and to transport critical cargo. We hope to continue doing so in balance with the local surroundings.”
As the outcome of this initiative takes shape, it’s also apparent that airlines looking to get a foothold at AMS may fall victim. That could include JetBlue, which just launched daily nonstop service to AMS from New York in late August 2023. The airline also plans to fly to AMS from Boston, with that inaugural set for September 20, 2023.
Looking to get to Europe on a budget without spending a lot of cash? Check out our guide to the best ways to fly to Europe using points and miles.
Limiting the number of flights at AMS has the potential to not only reduce the number of options for travelers heading to Europe but could also increase fares in the long term. KLM and other airlines are vehemently opposed to the restrictions, and the effect on flyers may be seen as soon as 2024. However, this is likely not the last of the legal battle.
Featured Image Credit: KLM
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About Chris Dong
Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full time at The Points Guy, his work can now be found at AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Washington Post, and Lonely Planet, among others
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