Schiphol Airport bosses urge airlines to cancel flights

Hundreds of flights have been scrapped at the Dutch hub since April

Schiphol officials say airlines that comply with a request to cancel flights will, under certain conditions, be compensated. AFP
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Airlines have been asked to cancel flights from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport due a shortage of workers.

Travel at Schiphol has been sporadically disrupted since April, and long queues have become a routine problem for the international airport.

Airlines that comply with the request to cancel flights between 4pm and 11pm CET (2pm-9pm GMT) on Monday will be compensated, Schiphol officials said.

The move comes as one of Europe's busiest airports grapples with long queues and staff shortages, leading to some travellers missing their flights.

“After weeks of improvement, Schiphol did not expect to have to take these measures," an airport statement said. "Employees in the terminal are working as hard as they can to ensure that everyone can travel today, but unfortunately there is a chance that travellers will miss their flight due to long waiting times.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at Amsterdam since April. The airport, Europe's third largest, has also tried capping passenger numbers to limit the number of last-minute cancellations.

The travel sector is trying to recover from Covid-enforced lockdowns that devastated the industry.

Many companies in the industry have been hit by low staffing levels — sometimes a result of laying off workers during lockdowns.

Flights across the continent have been grounded, with inflation now rising sharply across the UK and Europe.

Ryanair and SAS services were hit by pilots’ strikes, while protest action from ground crew at British Airways and KLM also led to flights being cancelled.

Other strikes have been organised by staff at Lufthansa and easyJet and Portugal's airport handling company Portway.

Updated: September 12, 2022, 2:01 PM