Dutch air cargo sector hits out at Schiphol’s price hike plans

By Damian Brett

Dutch logistics group Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN), along with the wider aviation sector, have hit out at Schiphol’s plans to hike airline charges by 40% by 2025 as a result of Covid.

Reports suggest that the planned increase will be implemented in three stages from 2023 and comes as the airport looks to offset lost income as a result of the Covid pandemic.

ACN has hit out at the move, warning it could affect Schiphol’s cargo business with airlines moving to alternative gateways.

The group said the increase will apply to both passenger aircraft and full freighters.

“We understand the difficult position in which the airport finds itself, but we feel that it is not right to lay most of the pain on the shoulders of the aviation industry, which had a very hard time during the Corona crisis,” ACN said.

“We call for fairness. Also because this very substantial rate increase could jeopardise Schiphol’s position as a leading cargo hub.”

The group said that a pre-consultation meeting will take place on Tuesday followed up by a formal consultation on Thursday.

In response, the airport said: “The consultation process between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the airlines remains ongoing until October 31. Until this time, official fees will not be finalised.”

ACN is working with Barin – the board of airline representatives – to put a halt to the proposals.

The Dutch media reports that Barin is considering legal action to stop the increase.

The Royal Schiphol Group, which also operates Eindhoven and the Hague airports, registered a loss of €158m in the first half of the year as the number of air traffic movements at Schiphol was down by 25.8% to 86,037.

Last year, the group reported a net loss of €563m as the number of air transport movements at Schiphol was 227,304, a decrease of 54.2% compared with 2019.

IATA director general has also hit out at the proposals saying that the intention to raise its charges in the middle of a crisis is “an absurdity that only a delusional monopoly could propose”.

“The idea that airlines should pay higher charges to make up for airport revenue shortfalls when demand evaporates for everybody is totally unacceptable,” he said.

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