In Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport can not cope with the influx of travelers

In Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport can not cope with the influx of travelers

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In recent days, travelers have been asked to arrive four hours before takeoff and huge queues have formed at the airport gates over the weekend of April 30th and May 1st.

The massive Dutch holiday break this season and the aftermath of the Covid-19 health crisis, which led to the equally massive elimination of workstations: nothing more was needed to create complete chaos at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. In recent days, travelers have been asked to arrive four hours before take-off and huge queues have formed at the airport gates on the weekend of April 30 and 1.eee may. Firefighters sometimes had to intervene to distribute water, and eventually the operations manager had to request the cancellation of the flights.

The national airline KLM, which is affiliated with Air France, had to cancel more than 70 and part of its traffic was diverted to Rotterdam. A tile for the company, which has seen a spectacular recovery thanks to strong repetition and which gathered its shareholders on Monday 2 May, in particular to confirm the appointment of Marjan Rintel, former chairman of the Dutch Railways (NS), as Advisor. He succeeds Peter Elbers.

For the management of Schiphol, security was required during the weekend “The safety of passengers and staff”, she argued. It was not actually able to withstand an influx of travelers, but it was predictable, given the lack of security guards and baggage handlers. It would be missing 500 of the total 5,000 at this junction of the most important in Europe that, in 2019, before the pandemic, had registered about 70 million passengers. During this week of school holidays in the Netherlands, 174,000 per day were expected.

“French strike”

The high percentage of absences and the difficulty of finding replacements for the many staff members who left the company during the health crisis explain a situation that is no longer exceptional. London’s Heathrow Airport ran into similar problems a few weeks ago, and Brussels-Zaventem launched a 1,200-staff hiring operation, which contrasts with the traditionally low salaries in the sector and the need for candidates to be very flexible. working hours.

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The absence, in the Netherlands, of a system of partial unemployment has also accelerated the departure of workers during the pandemic. And those who remain describe working conditions that have become impossible. They caused, Friday, April 23, what the daily NRC he was calling “French strike”. A “savage” movement, not organized by the unions, which is exceptional in the social history of the kingdom. Within a few hours, 150 baggage handlers were able to block any activity, which led to a first wave of flight cancellations: about one hundred for KLM, about forty for other companies. Police eventually had to cut off road access to the airport.

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