KLM To Cut Schiphol Flights As Staffing Issues Mount

The Dutch carrier said ‘long queues’ at Amsterdam necessitate reduced flying from the airport.

Credit: Koen van Weel/ANP/Alamy Stock Photo

KLM said it will cut flights daily through Aug. 28 and restrict booking for intra-European services.

Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) itself has already put a temporary cap on airline capacity at the crowded airport. KLM said in a statement that its own staffing issues and “persistent operational challenges at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol due to the shortage of airport security staff” have led it to “take various measures” to keep its operations running as smoothly as possible.

“Work pressure at the airport is currently relentless as Schiphol and KLM are both faced with staff shortages,” KLM said. “KLM’s measures are intended to restore operational stability, thereby relieving pressure on staff at Schiphol and KLM.”

Through Aug. 28, KLM will cancel 10-20 flights daily from AMS to European destinations. Additionally, the SkyTeam member will “strongly restrict the sale of remaining seats on KLM and KLM Cityhopper flights to European destinations,” adding: “This will free up space for customers who are rebooked if their flight is canceled. This measure will supplement the existing restriction on sales, in order to accommodate passengers who have to be rebooked after missing their flight due to long queues at Schiphol and to comply with restrictions Schiphol has imposed on the number of passengers boarding locally.”

Also, KLM Cityhopper regional aircraft will no longer carry cargo. “This will reduce work pressure for handling staff on the ground,” KLM said. “We will also close the belly compartment for loose packages and mail bags aboard flights bound for intercontinental destinations. This loose bulk freight will be placed in containers, which will be brought in via the apron, making them easier to load onto the aircraft. Measures relating to airfreight will remain in place until the end of the summer schedule” on Oct. 29. 

“KLM is confident that these measures will ensure smooth handling of incoming and outgoing flights in the coming weeks,” the carrier said. “KLM reasserts that these measures are temporary.”

KLM’s flight cuts and other measures come as European airlines increasingly scale back summer plans in the face of cascading operational issues.