There's no end in sight for the dispute over Schiphol Airport's planned flight caps. And it could take even more turns, with JetBlue stating it asked the U.S. government to take action against Dutch carriers if no resolution could be reached.
U.S. carrier JetBlue Airways said on Friday it had filed a complaint against the Netherlands and the European Union to the U.S. Department of Transportation over the Dutch government’s move to curb traffic at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport.
The Dutch government earlier this month said it would move ahead with plans to cap the number of flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport next year to reduce noise, a decision that is fiercely opposed by flag carrier KLM and airline industry groups.
“In so doing, the Dutch government stands in flagrant violation of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement,” JetBlue said in its complaint.
Flights will be capped at 452,500 per year, almost 10% below 2019 levels and lower than a previous proposal of 460,000.
The move essentially closed Schiphol to new entrants, JetBlue said.
“Carriers with historics at Schiphol are facing a 4% reduction in capacity. New entrants such as JetBlue are facing a completely closed market and 100% expulsion from the market,” the company said.
“This is not a fair or proportional outcome despite Dutch government assurances otherwise.”
Airlines that use Schiphol including Air France-KLM have sued to try to prevent the cap at one of Europe’s busiest airports. They say it will harm business and violate previous agreements.
JetBlue, which has been operating two daily flights between Amsterdam and the U.S. since August, said it had asked the U.S. government to take similar steps against Dutch carriers if no solution could be reached.
(Reporting by Bart Meijer and Charlotte Van Campenhout; Editing by Mark Potter and Elaine Hardcastle)
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Photo credit: A JetBlue plane taking off. The company is the latest major airline to take at the Dutch government over flight caps at Schiphol Airport. Tomás Del Coro / Flickr