Air Freight News

KLM scraps more flights amid Amsterdam Schiphol labor turmoil

Flight cancellations at Dutch airline KLM have surpassed 225 in the past few weeks as its Amsterdam Schiphol hub is hit by labor shortages and industrial strife.

The Air France-KLM unit is in discussions with the airport about service levels this weekend, a spokesman said Thursday. That follows 75 cancellations last weekend amid a lack of airport security personnel, cleaners and other personnel, and the loss of 150 KLM flights over four days from April 23 due to a strike by the carrier’s own ground staff.

“Passengers should not be the victims of the personnel problems at Schiphol,” KLM said. “Additional cancellations are no long-term solution to solving the staff shortages.” The airport didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Disruption isn’t limited to the Netherlands, with airlines and airports among companies hardest hit by the roiling of labor markets during the coronavirus pandemic as millions of people lost their jobs, were furloughed or moved to new posts. The U.K. has been especially hard hit, with lines at Manchester airport stretching for hours into the street over Easter and British Airways trimming its timetable through the end of May to confront a labor squeeze.

KLM said it’s in talks with Schiphol about compensation and plans to discuss the situation further once the May holiday season is over.

The FNV union said things could worsen without an agreement on working conditions, with many employees likely to quit just as passenger numbers buoyed by the easing of travel curbs surge toward the summer peak.

“We do not expect the staff shortage to be resolved before the summer, but we do expect the quality of employment and the wellbeing of current employees to be protected,” FNV campaign leader Joost van Doesburg said Wednesday.



© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

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