Royal Schiphol Group COO exits over “difference of opinion”

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Royal Schiphol Group has announced its 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.

The Group said in a press release on January 21 that its management board and supervisory board had attempted to resolve the matter, but “it was not possible”.

It stated: “As a result, the Supervisory Board sees no other option then to terminate the employment contract with Hanne Buis. As a result, Schiphol’s management temporarily consists of CEO Ruud Sondag and CFO Robert Carsouw. The resulting vacancy will be filled soon.”

The Group did not provide any details on the issue/issues that resulted in the departure of Buis, however, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has been plagued with issues recently.

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.

Speaking about Buis, Jaap Winter, chairman of the supervisory board of Royal Schiphol Group, said: “It is a pity that the difference of opinion has arisen regarding the operational steering and design of the organisation.

“The Supervisory Board would like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation and thanks for the major contribution Hanne has made to the aviation sector over the past 18 years in various positions such as director of aviation marketing, chief executive of Lelystad Airport and as a member of the board of directors of Royal Schiphol Group.”

Buis stated: “I worked at Schiphol Group with a lot of energy and pleasure and I regret that we part ways on the basis of this difference. The aviation sector is an important sector that connects the Netherlands with the world.

“I’m grateful that I was able to contribute to that connection and to the necessary changes in aviation all those years in different roles. I am proud of all employees, partners and all other parties who make Schiphol every day.”

The Group recently appointed Joost van Doesburg as head of cargo after years of the role being shared with other responsibilities.

Appeals to stop Schiphol price hike rejected

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

Schiphol boss resigns after latest round of flight disruption

Schiphol opts for a dedicated head of cargo


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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]