The U.S. is threatening to take action if the Netherlands continues to shrink Schiphol and demands that the file be declared controversial. This is evident from a letter in the hands of De Telegraph. “The minister now has to look very carefully at how he distributes the available seats so that you can maintain trade relations,” says Joris Melkert, an aviation expert at TU Delft.
The Department of Aviation previously said the proposed compaction plans around Schiphol should be declared controversial. According to TU Delft’s aviation expert Joris Melkert, this ‘retaliation’ was expected to come. ‘The companies had already informed the minister that the distribution of seats across the world is mutual. We can fly to America if Americans fly to us.
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The Americans warned in the letter that if the contraction continues, ‘cooperation between the two countries cannot be ensured’. “This international network has been carefully built by KLM over the last century,” says Melkert. ‘There are major commercial interests involved. The Minister will have to look very carefully at how he will distribute the existing seats so that trade relations can still be maintained.
The Council of Ministers is said to decide today that the number of flights from Schiphol will not need to be reduced to 440,000 per year, but will be set at a maximum of 452,000. Melkert did not rule out that the Americans’ letter had some influence on that decision. ‘Everything is connected. It’s a big puzzle that can never be solved.’
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It is also now known that the government will not ban night flights and private jets at Schiphol. It was part of an eight-pronged plan the airport unveiled in April to deliver better quality, become a better employer and be more environmentally friendly. “They wanted to do it from 2025, but the minister is now saying: I won’t go with it,” says Melkert.
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