Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will increase its capacity over its summer season in 2024 after the Netherlands’ Government abandoned plans to cut flights at the airport in the face of airline and EU pushback. 

The airport has revealed its flight capacity for 2024 and said that 483,000 flights would be able to operate to and from Schiphol, with 293,000 of those coming during the summer, between 31 March and 6 October, an increase of 13,000 on previous numbers. 

Schiphol had to re-establish its numbers for the year after the government abandoned its plan, which would have seen flights cut to 440,000 a year after the European Commission wrote to the country’s Minister of Infrastructure Mark Harbers and warned the experimental scheme, seeking to address environmental and noise concerns, could go against the EU’s balanced approach rules. 

However, the airport’s parent company Royal Schiphol Group said it would only be able to increase the capacity if airlines reduced activities at peak times, saying a limited reduction was needed to ensure safe operations. 

Patricia Vitalis, executive director of operations at Royal Schiphol Group, said: “The busy peak times require a major effort from the entire aviation sector and the involved government partners. 

“In order to offer travellers a pleasant and safe journey, we really need each other at the airport. We’ve discussed this with each other a lot over the past weeks, and everyone is aware of that. It’s good to see that airlines have committed to helping reduce peak traffic.” 

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The overall increase for 2024 marks a notable rise in flight numbers on 2023, which Schiphol said is likely to record 433,000 flights, and the announcement will now allow an independent slot coordinator to talk with airlines on how the reduction during peak times can be achieved.

Schiphol said the decision came after Harbers asked the airport to consider Air Traffic Control the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Marechausse, and Customs bet taken into account during the process of deciding on flight capacity.