Amsterdam’s summer 2024 capacity limit increase means relief for airlines  

Following a decision finally being made on the capacity limit for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) for the summer of 2024, airlines can now be assured that any disruption to their plans for the peak season will now be minimized. 

The airport has decided to allow for more flights next summer on the condition that airlines help to reduce air traffic at peak times during the busy season.  

The Dutch government, along with the airport authority at Schiphol Airport, had faced a backlash and had been under extreme pressure from airlines, passenger groups, and other stakeholders after it threatened to reduce overall capacity at the airport in 2024, particularly in the peak summer travel period. 

In November 2023, as reported by AeroTime, Schiphol said that it may have to cut capacity next summer despite the government having already reneged on its plan to reduce flights by 8%.  

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In specific terms, Amsterdam Schiphol is planning to provide a total capacity of 293,000 flights for the summer season and a total of around 483,000 flights for the full year. Following the decision on c capacity limits being finalized, airlines are expected to voluntarily indicate how they might help reduce the number of flights during peak times.  

“More flights are now possible, but this is only safe and responsible provided we reduce pressure on certain peak hours,” said Patricia Vitalis, Executive Director of Operations at Schiphol. “The busy peak times require a major effort from the entire aviation sector and the involved government partners.”  

The Dutch government had been forced to walk away from its proposal to cap flights at 460,000 largely for environmental reasons after facing mounting pressure from the European Union as well as the US government. The latter had threatened to retaliate by restricting KLM access to US airports following JetBlue Airways’ expulsion from Amsterdam which would have resulted from the cutbacks. 

The Dutch arm of Air France-KLM said in a separate statement that it was “pleased” with Schiphol’s announcement, adding that it has just three months to make the necessary arrangements instead of the usual six. 

“Stable, predictable operations are vital for customers and employees, who understandably expect this from us. We now have scarcely three months to make the necessary arrangements instead of the usual six. KLM will obviously do everything possible to operate the number of flights it has been allocated,” said KLM in a statement. 

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