Appeals to stop Schiphol price hike rejected
21 / 04 / 2022
By Damian Brett
Dutch consumer protection body Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has rejected appeals from airlines and air cargo groups to halt Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s plans to increase prices.
ACM received complaints from ten companies and three industry associations in objection to the airport’s plans to increase prices over the next three years to offset losses as a result of the Covid crisis.
The airport plans to increase prices by 9% in 2023, 12% in 2024 and 12% in 2025 for both passenger and freighter aircraft.
ACM found that Schiphol is required to settle excess profits with airlines but the opposite is true if it makes a loss.
The authority said that if Schiphol were to bear those costs itself, they would ultimately be borne by the taxpayer because the Dutch State and the municipality of Amsterdam are Schiphol’s largest shareholders.
Due to the way in which Schiphol has now set the rates, the setbacks are passed on to the users of the airport.
Even when compared with the rates of other airports, ACM sees no indication that Schiphol’s rates are unreasonably high.
Manon Leijten, board member of the ACM, said: “Schiphol must pass on windfalls in the rates, but may also settle setbacks in it. Actual costs are included in the new rates, which also follows from the legal framework.
“That is why the rate increases that are the result of this are not unreasonable.”
In response to the news, Air Cargo Netherlands, which last year objected to Schiphol’s plans, said: “This is a major disappointment for airport users. We do not think it is right that Schiphol is putting the pain of the corona crisis on the airlines with these draconian rate increases.
“We are currently considering with the parties involved whether and how this case can be presented to the court.”
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s cargo throughput climbed 15% in 2021 compared to 2020.
The Royal Schiphol Group, which also operates Eindhoven and the Hague airports, registered a profit of €103.7m last year, following on from a loss of €423.6m in 2020.