KLM To Appeal Against Schiphol Airport Charge Increases

Photo Credit: Arash Abed/AviationSource

LONDON – KLM is set to appeal against the Dutch Authority for the Consumer & Market (ACM) over the proposed increases to Schiphol charges for using the airport.

The press release, which you will see below, explains why the Dutch group is going to appeal against the respective bodies.

What Is The Battle?

The statement reads:

“On 25th November 2021, KLM lodged an objection with the Dutch Authority for the Consumer & Market (ACM) against the decision made by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to increase its port dues by 9%, 12%, and 12% respectively over a three-year period from 2022-2024, a cumulative 37%.”

“This objection was also filed on behalf of KLM Cityhopper, Transavia, Martinair, and Air France.”

“The ACM made a decision regarding the airlines’ objections on 24th March 2022. KLM is extremely disappointed that the ACM has chosen to disregard almost all of the airlines’ objections and has missed an opportunity to further supplement the reasonableness of the Aviation Act, which could have resulted in a proportionate distribution of the pain of the COVID crisis.”

“In the opinion of KLM, KLM Cityhopper, Transavia, Martinair, and Air France, this is an extremely strict interpretation of the Aviation Act and an interpretation of the settlement mechanism that ignores its original purpose.”

“According to the airlines mentioned above, the ACM does not protect the users against excessive charges by the monopolist Schiphol (the original purpose of the Aviation Act) but instead shifts all of the monopolists’ business risks that have arisen during the COVID period, on to the airlines.”

“There is no alternative airport infrastructure of this scale in the Netherlands. Airlines are therefore forced to purchase their services from Schiphol.”

“The ACM rejects the airlines’ objections to Schiphol offsetting the COVID losses; while at the same time the ACM, in view of the COVID crisis, does allow Schiphol to deviate from the allocation system, allowing it to pass on more costs.”

“KLM will therefore lodge an appeal against the ACM decision with the CBb (Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal).”

What will this mean?

If the Air France-KLM group loses this appeal, then this will mean passengers will bear the brunt of the proposed increased costs.

This is because otherwise, KLM would develop heavy losses as a result of this move.

Such a scenario leaves KLM in a sticky situation because they can’t exactly just jump ship as Schiphol is the only major airport in The Netherlands.

Therefore, it is no surprise that KLM has taken this action and appealed.

Deadlock Ahead?

With the perspective of KLM in mind, this will no doubt cause some form of a deadlock with Schiphol Airport.

The airport does need to recoup the losses, and placing them on KLM could mean that they have exhausted all options in terms of cost-cutting.

It is a difficult thing to solve because KLM can’t relocate the 109 aircraft it has in its fleet, plus the aircraft under the Air France, Martinair, Transavia, and KLM Cityhopper brands as well.

This means that the only two things that KLM could settle for are:

  • A revised and lower percentage increase in the airport charges.
  • Go all out and make sure the charges don’t increase.

Either way, some form of solution should come over the course of the coming months, but it will most likely be at the detriment of KLM.

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