Traffic and transport figures for February 2020

The number of flights to and from Schiphol in February fell by 0.6% to 34,992. This resulted in a total of 4.7 million passengers who travelled to, from or via Schiphol. This figure represents a 2.6% decrease in the number of passengers, despite the fact that February 2020 had a leap day. There are a number of reasons for this decline, with the main intercontinental factor being the impact of the coronavirus, and the main factor within Europe being a series of stormy days in February. The number of cargo flights rose to 1,072, an increase of 1.0% compared to February of last year. As a result, the tonnage of cargo transported increased by 0.4%.

Impact of coronavirus on intercontinental flights

The number of intercontinental passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol fell by 4.3% to a total of 1.4 million. There were more passengers travelling to North and South America, Africa and the Middle East. By contrast, primarily due to the coronavirus, the total number of passengers travelling to and from Asia dropped to 249,600. This represents a 31.6% decrease. The passenger volume to mainland China and Hong Kong experienced the largest decline, falling by 68.7% compared to February 2019. The decrease in passenger volume to Taiwan was less severe (-7.0%). Another factor that plays a role in the decreased travel to Asia is the withdrawal of Jet Airways, which caused the passenger volume to and from India to fall by 38.6% compared to last year. The impact of the Unites States’ entry ban will be visible in the traffic and transport figures for March.

Destinations in Europe

February saw 3.3 million passengers travelling to and from European destinations (-1.6%). The United Kingdom and Germany experienced the largest decline in passenger numbers within Europe. The number of passengers travelling to these countries fell by 4.8% and 7.9%, respectively. There were fewer flights to these countries, partly because of cancellations due to the weather.

In contrast, the total number of flights to Italy rose by 2.3% due to the leap year. Nevertheless, the total passenger volume fell by 3.0%. The number of passengers on board the flights to and from Italy showed a decreasing trend during the last few days of February. There were no large-scale cancellations of flights to Italy in February since the coronavirus outbreak there only started at the end of the month. This impact will be visible in the traffic and transport figures for March.

Click here for the complete overview of traffic and transport figures for February 2020.

Outlook for March

The coronavirus has created a unique situation in the Netherlands, and therefore at Schiphol as well. Everyone is being increasingly affected by the virus. This can be seen in the passenger numbers. Last Friday the number of passengers at Schiphol has fallen by 38%, on Saturday by 41%. This percentage will continue to increase in the weeks ahead due to developments. Different scenarios are being drawn up to ensure that the airport is prepared for various situations.

We have a responsibility to the Netherlands to keep Schiphol running and remain connected to the rest of the world. Schiphol is part of the country’s vital infrastructure. We are keeping a close eye on the developments and constantly monitoring the situation. We are working together with airlines, the government and our partners to prepare for more extreme scenarios, such as reducing Schiphol’s operational scale. We are pursuing all these efforts in a responsible manner, with the utmost consideration for passengers and staff.
Dick Benschop, CEO Royal Schiphol Group