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Higher airport charges at Schiphol in 2024 due to lost revenue during pandemic


In 2024, Schiphol is raising its airport charges not by 12%, as was previously expected, but by 14.8%. The additional increase is necessary due to lost income in 2022, when there was less air traffic. At the start of 2022 there were still some travel restrictions in place because of COVID-19, and airlines operated fewer flights than planned. Security staff shortages also led to a reduction in flights, but Schiphol has not included the estimated share of that in the calculation.

Schiphol’s CFO Robert Carsouw: ’We’ve notified the airlines and understand that they’re not very pleased. At the same time, it’s necessary for the quality at Schiphol and for our financial position. It’s also how the legislation works. In good years we are not allowed to profit from airport charges and so in bad years we cannot afford any losses.’

Not enough security staff
The staff shortages at the security companies at Schiphol was one of the reasons why there were fewer flights in 2022. Partly because of this, Schiphol imposed a limit on the number of departing travellers at certain points in 2022. Carsouw: ’To the best of our knowledge, we have calculated Schiphol’s share in the bad year of 2022 and, although not obliged, deducted it from the increase we are making. If we had not done that, the increase would have been higher.’ Inflation, which is significantly higher than during the consultation on airport charges in 2021, is not part of the settlement. Corrected for inflation and settlements the charge development since 2014 actually shows a decreasing trend.

In addition to a shortage of security staff, airlines and handlers also suffered from the changed labour market after the COVID-19 pandemic, which also resulted in fewer flights. And there were also some travel restrictions still in place in 2022.

The determination of airport charges at Schiphol is strictly regulated by legislation. Simply put, Schiphol is not permitted to make any profit from airport charges. If what Schiphol earns in airport charges exceeds the costs incurred from facilitating the airlines, the additional revenue is settled (’given back’ to the airlines). In that case, the airport charges for the following year are lower. This happened not so long ago, between 2016 and 2019.

Conversely, this also means that Schiphol settles the difference when costs exceed income from airport charges. Besides the pandemic years, the last time this happened was in 2014. Nonetheless, Schiphol’s airport charges are still competitive when compared to other international hubs.

The airport charges that airlines pay to Schiphol are spent on facilities and services that the airlines make use of. This includes runway maintenance, security, maintenance in the terminal and cleaning.

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