Air India will reportedly no longer fly to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) as of late October 2023, as slot constraints at the Dutch capital’s airport have resulted in the airline being unable to schedule flights during the Winter 2023 season.
According to reports by Simple Flying, Air India will stop operating the Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) to AMS route from October 27, 2023, as it was unable to gain sufficient slots at the European airport.
October 29, 2023, marks the start of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) winter season 2023/2024, which will last until March 30, 2024.
Air India announced the DEL to AMS route back in May 2023, stating that it would operate the flight with its Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
“With the launch of this new non-stop flight to Amsterdam, Air India adds further breadth to our long-haul network and more options for our customers,” Campbell Wilson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air India, said at the time. “Together with the three other European routes started in recent months, and others to come, it supports our objective of establishing Delhi as a significant international hub.”
The inaugural flight departed on June 11, 2023, with Air India scheduling four weekly flights between DEL and AMS.
According to filings by Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL), the slot coordinator for AMS, Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) and Eindhoven Airport (EIN), during the summer 2023 season, AMS had a total of 303,000 slots available. ACNL has indicated that, for the winter season, the number has been reduced to 189,515.
In a letter dated September 2022, the former Operating Officer of AMS, Hanne Buis, warned ACNL that the aircraft movement limit of 500,000 for the whole calendar year had been taken into account when AMS gave its capacity declaration to ACNL.
“As you are aware, the aviation sector is still struggling to cope with disruptive effects from the global COVID-19 pandemic and a significant decline in air transport movements well below the agreed limit of 500K movements in 2022 as a result thereof,” Buis said at the time, adding that the situation was expected to continue into summer 2023.
ACNL’s filings also showed that the waitlist for AMS’ slots numbered 22,052, with 18,640 of those slots being requested for passenger services. Cargo operators requested the remaining 3,412 slots.