Amsterdam Airport Leads Europe’s Air Travel Chaos

Due to staffing shortages and general travel demands, there has been a bit of chaos recently with air travel. The center of this chaos, according to travel analytics firm ForwardKeys, is Amsterdam, followed closely by the UK and then Sweden and Germany.

From flight delays, canceled flights, lost luggage and long queues, there has been a general reduction in flight capacity around the world. At the center of all these delays is Europe, particularly bad in Amsterdam

Taking many factors into account and comparing seat availability in July and August to that in May, they found that the total reduction in global capacity was 14.3 million seats. While the 4% overall reduction may not seem like a lot, ForwardKeys has broken it down further with the actual number of seats in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and Africa and the Middle East shown below.

  • Europe: 5% reduction, 9 million seats lost
  • Asia-Pacific: 10% reduction, 4.6 million seats lost
  • Americas: 2% reduction, 1 million seats lost
  • Africa and Middle East: 1% increase, 255,000 seats gained

According to their analysis, the Netherlands experienced an 8% reduction in capacity, while the UK experienced a 7% reduction. Sweden and Germany follow, with reductions of 7% and 6%, respectively.

In terms of cities in Europe experiencing the biggest capacity reduction, top of the list (based on percentage not seats lost, Amsterdam: 11% reduction and 541,000 seats lost with London: 8% reduction and 1.1 million seats lost in second and Milan 8% reduction and 259,000 seats lost to complete the top three.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the only major airport in Amsterdam and in June the lines were so long they wrapped around the building. As mentioned earlier regarding the shortages, in particular the shortages in the security department resulted in extremely long wait times.

To deal with the chaos, they have decided to limit flights and it is not known when the cap will be lifted. Regardless of this temporary restriction, the airport plans to decrease flights by 20% from November 2023 compared to its pre-pandemic figures.

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