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Amsterdam Schiphol to Lift Cap on Passenger Numbers for the Summer

A cap on departing passenger numbers that has been in place since the summer of 2022 is being lifted at the end of March, but the airport has warned about ongoing functional issues

by Fergus Cole

January 19, 2023

Photo: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Courtesy of Rita Candeias / Unsplash

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is set to lift its cap on the number of departing passengers in time for the summer season. The European hub had initially imposed a cap on departing passenger numbers last summer, with staff shortages being blamed for the decision. However, officials at the airport have announced this cap is no longer necessary and will be lifted on March 26.

“I am pleased for our travelers, employees, and airlines with the progress we have collectively made,” said Ruud Sondag, CEO of Amsterdam Schiphol. “Things are looking good heading towards the May holidays.”

However, the airport still anticipates some overcrowding and delays during peak times during the summer, especially during busy mornings, so it has called on all its employees and partners to pull together and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable customer experience.

Photo: Courtesy of Ben Koorengevel / Unsplash

“The airport has said it is having discussions with various airlines that operate out of Schiphol to manage their workload and prevent serious issues arising during the holiday season,” added Sondag.

“From the start of the 2023 season at the end of March, we are going to scale up further in a responsible and phased manner in the interest of those travelers, employees, and airlines. We are not going to take any risks.”

One of the measures taken by Schiphol in recent months to alleviate its staff shortage crisis has been an extensive recruitment campaign, which by all accounts, has been highly successful.

The recruitment drive was launched in November 2022, when at least 850 new security staff were required. About half of the positions have now been filled.

The airport hopes to complete the recruitment campaign in time for the lift on the passenger numbers cap at the end of March.

Amsterdam Schiphol has long been one of the busiest and best-connected airports in the world, serving as a major hub not only within Europe but also for transatlantic flights.

A recent report by aviation data analysts Cirium revealed Schiphol to be the fourth most connected airport in the globe regarding the number of unique destinations it serves directly.

Delta and American Airlines regularly fly between Amsterdam and the U.S., while international airlines such as KLM operate all its transatlantic schedule from the airport’s terminals.

Photo: Courtesy of Aron Marinelli / Unsplash

Up to 19 U.S. airports have direct connections to Schiphol, including New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA), Dallas (DFW), and Los Angeles (LAX).

“We want to once again offer the quality and certainty that everyone can expect of Schiphol,” said Sondag. “That’s why we are working with our partners at the airport to tackle the remaining bottlenecks as we head towards the May holidays and beyond.

“We are doing this as team Schiphol, as we call it, because this is something we have to do together. We are well in time to organize everything properly. That will certainly be more generous than last year and just below the numbers seen in 2019, the year before Covid.”