The working group of local residents bases its analysis on CBS figures on trade with the destinations and declared all flights to places with which the Netherlands has hardly any trade relations as unnecessary. In 2019, the last ‘normal’ flying year, 91 destinations were flown to, with which a total of no more than 21 billion euros in trade is conducted. The other 223 destinations account for 639 billion euros.
Flights to the most popular holiday destinations in Southern Europe may remain from the working group (even if there is little trade with them), as are a number of destinations in countries with which the Netherlands has a special bond, such as Suriname, Curaçao and Indonesia.
In addition, a number of destinations remain that are not essential in themselves, but that provide the supply of just enough transfer passengers to be able to fill intercontinental flights profitably. According to the working group, the 223 destinations that remain will leave you with a ‘useful hub’, in which the focus is on the needs of the home market, and not on those of the switchers.
International trading country
The aviation sector defends Schiphol’s hub-and-spoke model with more than 300 destinations. Vincent van Hooff, KLM’s Head of Flight Service, believes that the Netherlands, as an international trading country, needs these connections to have a prosperous economy.
A large airport facilitates this and Dutch travelers also benefit from this: “Two thirds of our passengers are transfer passengers from abroad, about a third are local passengers who board the plane in the Netherlands. The good news is that the people who board here, the Dutch, can use that network.
Spreading holiday flights
KLM mainly sees disadvantages in reducing the number of destinations. Van Hooff: “We think that if you fly less at Schiphol, passengers will divert to airports such as Brussels or Düsseldorf. That will not solve the climate problem and it will not be good for the economy either.”
Schiphol airport said it was unable to respond to this article, but in the radio program Sven op 1 Schiphol director Dick Benschop said last week that he does not want “growth for the sake of growth”. “Moderate growth may be necessary to maintain the hub and the quality of the network,” says Benschop. He sees more in spreading holiday flights to regional airports than in contraction.