Schiphol president predicts no passenger growth in 2008, blaming the introduction of an eco tax
Fri 4 Jan 2008 – Gerlach Cerfontaine, President and CEO of Schiphol Group, the operator of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, has said the airport will experience little or no growth in passengers or aircraft movements in the coming year due to the introduction on July 1 of an eco tax on passengers.
“Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will be losing market share in these areas in 2008 compared to other major European airports,” believed Cerfontaine. “This is detrimental to the airport’s competitive position as a European hub; detrimental to employment prospects at the airport and throughout the region; detrimental to tourism to and from the Netherlands. And also detrimental to the environment, since it is only a matter of time before many people start opting for airports outside the Netherlands.”
He announced that Schiphol Group, along with the Board of Airline Representatives in the Netherlands (BARIN), will be launching an appeal against the introduction of the ticket tax. The eco tax will be levied on passenger tickets and is due to be set at 11.25 euros ($16.50) on flights up to 2,500km and 45 euros ($66) on flights over 2,500km.
Cerfontaine also said that Schiphol Group will shortly be publishing the Schiphol Climate Plan. “It details our plans for realising a CO2-neutral Amsterdam Airport Schiphol by 2012. Looking ahead even further, by 2020 we intend for 20% of all energy consumed at Schiphol to be generated via sustainable methods, and for CO2 emissions from all other activities to be lowered by 30% in respect of 1990 levels. An ambitious goal to be sure, but one we feel is within reach.”
According to Cerfontaine, 47.8 million passengers passed through the airport in 2007, an increase of 3.7% on the previous year. The number of air transport movements rose by 3.0% to 436,000 and cargo traffic experienced a 5.5% growth to over 1.6 million tonnes.
In 2006, Schiphol was Europe’s third busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic but looks likely to have been overtaken by Paris CDG and the fast-growing Madrid Barajas in 2007.