Royal Schiphol Group changes management structure amid turbulence

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Royal Schiphol Group (RSG) will change the current board of directors (DT) into a broader operational executive team as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol faces continued controversy.

From 1 February, the executive team of Royal Schiphol Group consists of Ruud Sondag, chief executive; Robert Carsouw, chief financial officer; Patricia Vitalis, operations; Sybren Hahn, asset management; Arthur Reijnhart, commercial; and Esmé Valk, HR.

The change does not affect the statutory final responsibility of the DT as it is currently formed by Sondag and Carsouw.

This follows the announcement that chief operating officer Hanne Buis will exit the job on February 1 due to a “difference of opinion” over the “operational management” of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

RSG said the management structure change comes as Schiphol has evaluated how it prepared for and responded to the rapid growth in passenger volumes, the situation regarding the assets (including buildings, infrastructure, equipment) and the staff shortages following “the operational crisis at Schiphol between May and September 2022”.

Sondag said: “With this change in management, there will be a more direct and integrated management of the most important operational responsibilities. This requires a team with extra expertise and a hands-on orientation.
 
“Due to the broad composition of the ET, Schiphol Group’s business operations will be strengthened and the strategic agenda can be better achieved.”

Since 2021, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s plans to increase prices have been met with fierce opposition from the industry.

Then last year, the airport twice asked airlines to cut flight numbers after being hit by staff shortages.

It saw cargo volumes decline as weaker market conditions and the loss of AirBridgeCargo services hit volumes.

In September 2022, then Schiphol Airport chief executive Dick Benschop resigned from the role, stating he had faced “criticism” over the disruption at the Dutch hub.

Royal Schiphol Group COO exits over “difference of opinion”

Appeals to stop Schiphol price hike rejected

Schiphol boss resigns after latest round of flight disruption

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]