Emirates, Etihad unaware of any restrictions on operations at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam

Dutch cabinet minister reportedly said that Gulf carriers would not be allowed new landing rights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam. Lex Van Lieshout. UAE airlines say they are still operating from the Dutch airport. AFP
Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam. Lex Van Lieshout. UAE airlines say they are still operating from the Dutch airport. AFP

Emirates and Etihad Airways said on Thursday that they had not received any notifications regarding the future of their operations in the Netherlands, after a Dutch cabinet minister reportedly said that Gulf carriers would not be allowed new landing rights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

“There have been no such notifications [of blocking the expansion],” an Emirates spokesman said in an email. “Under the UAE-Netherlands air services agreement, there are no restrictions on the number of frequencies and the size of aircraft used.”

Etihad also said it had not received any notification on its flights to Netherlands.

“We continue to operate a daily service between Abu Dhabi and Schiphol in partnership with [Air France-] KLM, which is complemented by our codeshare partner KLM’s daily operation between Amsterdam and Abu Dhabi,” Etihad said in an email.

The Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad reported that the government of the Netherlands planned to stop Gulf carriers from receiving any more landing rights at Schiphol because of claims of unfair competition with Gulf carriers. Schiphol is one of Europe’s busiest airports.

The newspaper quoted Holland’s infrastructure minister Wilma Mansveld as saying: “I want, together with my European colleagues, to take a tougher approach to the rise of airlines in the Middle East if there is talk of unfair competition.”

Gulf airlines have recently come under fire from some European carriers such as Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss, which have urged their regulators to curb their rivals’ expansion.

Currently Emirates flies twice daily from Dubai to Amsterdam, while Etihad operates one flight of its own and a codeshare with Air France-KLM daily between Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Published: May 21, 2015 04:00 AM

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