Schiphol sets maximum number of travelers per day this summer

Schiphol has let airlines and travel organisations know that a limit needs to be placed on the number of travellers that can depart from the airport every day. The maximum number of travellers that Schiphol can handle varies per day and goes up to 67,500 on the busiest days in July and up to 72,500 in August. A tight labour market has led to there being too few security employees to perform the necessary checks on all the travellers wanting to fly this summer. Not intervening would mean unmanageable queues and many travellers would miss their flight. That would lead to unsafe situations for both travellers and staff.

We are taking this measure with an unbelievably heavy heart. Everyone at Schiphol and all our partners want nothing more than to welcome all travellers with open arms, especially after the impact coronavirus has had. A lot is possible at Schiphol this summer, but not everything. Setting a limit now means that the large majority of travellers will be able to travel from Schiphol in a safe and responsible way.

Dick Benschop, CEO of Schiphol

The demand for air travel is exceeding even the most high expectations. At the same time, the labour market is incredibly tight. The strain is being felt in all areas of the aviation industry, from airports to airlines, in the Netherlands and in other countries. Schiphol based the planning for 2022 on an high scenario: from 25.5 million passengers in 2021 to 60 million passengers in 2022. With the staff shortages in security, Schiphol will remain slightly below this scenario. However, it does mean that a significant growth in the number of travellers is still possible. In any case, the expected demand for the coming summer exceeds all expectations. 

Over the past few weeks, Schiphol has been holding intensive consultations with airlines and the independent slot coordinator (ACNL) regarding the implementation of this measure. The consultations are now over and Schiphol has let the slot coordinator know what the capacity is for the period between 7 July and 31 July, with a view to the rest of the summer. On that basis, the slot coordinator will hold talks with all airlines regarding reducing the number of passengers. In two weeks’ time, a decision will be made regarding the period starting 31 July, based on the expected airport capacity at that time. All efforts are aimed at being able to increase capacity. 

The consequences of this measure vary per day. In the outlook for these weeks in July, there are 13.500 seats on average too many each day relative to security capacity. This does not mean that the same number of travellers will be adversely affected by this measure. Some of the seats included in the planning have not yet been sold. All parties will do their utmost to keep the consequences for travellers to a minimum by, where possible, rebooking them or rescheduling the flights to other airports. Flights will also be cancelled, either due to the limits being set or for other reasons. 

Schiphol and the security companies are doing all they can to retain current employees and to attract and train new staff. This is supported by the joint agreement that Schiphol reached with the unions, which includes a summer supplement. Schiphol is also working hard to improve the passenger flow in the terminal. The maintenance on the Aalsmeerbaan Runway will be complete before the start of the summer peak. Airlines, travel organisations and Schiphol are in constant consultation with each other to ensure that this summer runs smoothly.