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Schiphol Heralds Start of ‘turnaround’ in 2023


Amsterdam Schiphol has claimed that the first six months of 2023 have “marked the beginning of a turnaround” for passengers and staff at the Netherlands’ hub airport.

The airport struggled to cope with increased post-pandemic demand in 2022 due to a lack of staff and had to impose a daily passenger cap for longer than other major hubs in Europe.

Schiphol recorded a 20.5 per cent rise in passenger numbers in the first half of this year when traffic reached 28.7 million passengers, compared with 23.8 million travellers during the same period of 2022. 

Although traffic remains a long way behind the pre-Covid mark of 34.5 million passengers in the first half of 2019, with the number of flights at Schiphol still 15 per cent lower during the first six months of this year.

The airport highlighted this year’s improvements in its Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures customer satisfaction, as a sign that it is now offering a “better experience” to passengers.

“The scores in May, June and July this year are considerably higher than in the same period last year, when operational problems led to extremely low NPS scores. Currently, passengers are rating the customer experience almost as high as the 2019 summer,” said Royal Schiphol Group, which runs the airport. 

Ruud Sondag, the group’s interim CEO, added: “First and foremost, our focus was to provide passengers a pleasant journey again during the holiday season. I think for now it is fair to say we have achieved this and everyone at Schiphol can be proud of that. 

“However, we are not there yet. For the sake of passengers, we and our partners have to keep improving.”

Sondag also pointed to other positive developments at Schiphol such as improving rest areas for staff, deciding to build a new baggage system and implementing a host of initiatives that will lead to “quieter, cleaner and better aviation”.

The group now expects passenger traffic in 2023 at Schiphol to be between 60 and 64 million – up from 52.5 million passengers in 2022 but still down on 2019’s figure of 71.7 million travellers.

Royal Schiphol Group saw revenue increase by 28 per cent to €854 million for the half-year, with an “underlying” net profit of €44 million compared with a loss of €29 million in the first half of 2022. Although the group added its aviation business remained loss-making due to a “higher level of operational cost”.

Source: Business Travel News Europe

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