JetBlue’s Amsterdam flights get a reprieve; Dutch authorities scraps caps after US strain

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is scrapping its controversial plan to cut back flight capability in an effort to curb site visitors and air pollution, after going through intense strain from the U.S.

Infrastructure Minister Mark Harbers wrote in a letter to the Dutch Parliament that the transfer to implement flight caps had been placed on pause, primarily as a consequence of criticism from the U.S. Harbers additionally cited considerations from the Canadian authorities and the EU, in response to De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper.

“Within the eyes of america, the capability discount can be unjust, discriminatory and anti-competitive for airways,” Harbers wrote within the letter.

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Schiphol stated in an announcement that it was “dissatisfied by the latest developments,” including that it believed not decreasing flight capability on the airport can be detrimental to native residents.

The plan would have initially lowered Schiphol’s capability from 500,000 flights a 12 months to about 460,000 for the summer time journey season. This meant that airways with out historic rights on the airport would have misplaced their slots for summer time 2024, whereas these with historic rights at Schiphol would obtain 3.1% fewer slots.

With the reductions, JetBlue, which simply began flying to Schiphol in August, would have misplaced all its slots in Schiphol in summer time 2024. The New York-based service filed a grievance with the U.S. Division of Transportation, requesting that it boot Dutch service KLM from John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) in response to the proposed flight caps.

JetBlue stated it was happy with the Dutch authorities’s choice to reverse its stance on the flight caps.

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“The Dutch authorities has taken a great first step in agreeing to droop its plan to chop flight capability at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol which was set to start in the summertime 2024 season,” JetBlue stated in an announcement. “We proceed to advocate for a long-term decision that permits for brand new entrants and rivals out there like JetBlue.”

JetBlue stated it’s now working to make sure it will probably fly at Schiphol in the course of the summer time.

Airways for America, a commerce group that represents the foremost U.S. airways, additionally filed a grievance in opposition to the flight caps with the DOT.

Consequently, the DOT authorized JetBlue’s and A4A’s complaints, expressing concern with the Dutch authorities’s methodology to cut back flight capability.

“Certainly, we discover notably alarming that JetBlue, a relative new entrant at AMS, has been notified that it’ll obtain no slots for the Summer season 2024 season,” the DOT stated in response to the complaints.

The DOT additionally stated it will require Dutch carriers KLM, Martinair and TUI Fly Netherlands to file their schedules inside seven days of Nov. 2, the date the DOT issued the order — maybe a sign that the division was weighing countermeasures in opposition to the Dutch carriers.

On the time, the DOT additionally stated it will defer on implementing countermeasures such because the one JetBlue proposed, although that could be moot with the Dutch authorities backing off its authentic proposal.

The Dutch authorities’s reversal comes a day after the DOT stated it will “have interaction” with the Dutch authorities and the European Fee on Schiphol’s proposed flight caps.

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The DOT didn’t reply to a request for remark by the point of publication.

KLM additionally stated it was “glad” with the Dutch authorities’s choice, including that it believed the transfer reduces possibilities of retaliation.

“It is a crucial step to forestall retaliation and to proceed flying to the US,” KLM stated in an announcement. “As well as, the European Fee has despatched a transparent sign to undergo a cautious authorized course of in response to the balanced method.”

The plan to cut back flights out of Schiphol, one among Europe’s busiest airports, was at all times a contentious one. Airways had been vociferously in opposition to the measure, with KLM, Delta Air Strains, Corendon Airways and Tui Airways submitting a lawsuit to dam the proposed cuts.

After a Dutch court docket dominated in favor of the airways, the plan went by a back-and-forth authorized limbo as an appeals court docket later overturned the ruling, permitting the Dutch authorities to maneuver ahead with implementing the flight caps.

And whereas it appeared as if the plan was nearly to enter impact, the U.S. and European Fee ramped up the strain on the Dutch authorities. Harbers believed the flight caps would “isolate” the Netherlands, in the end inflicting the Dutch authorities to stroll again the controversial plan.

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