KQ headache as Schiphol extends passenger limits


A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya Airways (KQ) will have to cope with reduced revenue on the European route as Schiphol International airport extends passenger caps to October.

Schiphol has advised airlines that it will be extending the limits on outbound passengers from the facility to October, from the initial August date, which it had issued.

The move implies that KQ and other carriers will not be allowed to operate at full capacity out of Schiphol.

In June, Amsterdam capped the number of passengers that the national carrier can carry from Schiphol to Nairobi to 78 percent of its capacity on every flight, meaning that the airline is flying empty seats out of the Netherlands.

“Schiphol will set a maximum number of passengers per day for the months of September and October as well after consultation with airlines. In September, there will be a maximum of 67,500 local departures per day,” said the airport on its official website.

Europe was the second-highest revenue earner for the airline last year raking in Sh11.3 billion and the latest development meant that the carrier’s earnings will be impacted negatively.

Kenya Airways suspended the sale of tickets from London to Nairobi last month, as airports in Europe continue to grapple with a shortage of manpower

The move follows a directive by Heathrow Airport instructing airlines to freeze outbound bookings until September, as it contends with a surge in the number of passengers using the facility amid a shortage of manpower to manage the situation.

Major airports in Europe have been grappling with a sharp rise in the number of passengers on the back of a shortage of workers, as the airlines and airports struggle to recruit back after cutting jobs at the height of Covid-19 in 2020.

Heathrow and Schiphol are the busiest airports in Europe as airlines use them as transit hubs to other regions across the world.

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