March 2, 2024

Schiphol CEO issues frank apology after ‘bad chapter’

The recently-appointed boss of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has promised a better passenger experience in 2023 following poor performance last year.

Staff shortages caused chaos throughout 2022, with flight delays, cancellations and long queues. 

This contributed to a €28 million loss when the financial books closed for the year, despite a strong recovery in traffic.

The airport’s results statement pointed to “upscaling issues” for the poor operational performance.  

The statement also said: “To support recovery from the operational issues, Schiphol incurred extra costs of approximately €120 million.”

Ruud Sondag, Chief Executive of Royal Schiphol Group, who took the reins in November 2022, said: “Never before in Schiphol’s history have we disappointed so many travellers and airlines as in 2022.

“Our efforts and hard work did not lead to the necessary improvements in the system and, as a result, we were not able to provide the service we wanted.

“2022 will therefore go down as a bad chapter in our own history books. But it is also a chapter we will not forget, so that all new chapters we write will be better.

“We are working hard on this, and in 2022 we started to implement structural improvements. Because we have to do better. And I am convinced that we can.”

Schiphol handled 52.5 million passengers in 2022, up from 25.5 million in 2021 but well below 2019’s figure of 71.7 million.

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