West News Wire: KLM, Delta, and easyJet are among a group of airlines that announced on Friday that they are suing the Dutch government for reducing the number of flights from Amsterdam’s crowded Schiphol Airport.
The government stated in the previous year that it was looking for a “new balance” between the economic gains made possible by Schiphol and its effects on the environment and the local community. The goal is to reduce annual flight volume from 500,000 to 440,000.
The airlines pursuing legal action stated in a statement that the capacity cut would “substantially decrease travel options and connectivity for consumers” in addition to having a detrimental effect on the Dutch economy.
They contend that the fewer flights would contravene European and international law and assert that the aviation sector “is already achieving significant results in relation to reducing CO2 emissions and lowering noise levels.”
Aviation releases one-sixth of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by cars and trucks, according to World Resources Institute, a nonprofit research group based in Washington. However, far fewer people per day use airplanes.
The aviation industry has embraced a goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but experts who track the issue are skeptical.
KLM CEO Marjan Rintel said the Dutch carrier is “embracing the targets set for reducing noise levels and CO2 emissions, investing billions in fleet renewal” while maintaining a network of flights reaching 170 destinations worldwide.
Delta Air Lines Executive Vice President External Affairs Peter Carter said in the joint statement that the U.S. carrier “strongly objects” to flight cuts at Schiphol and “is committed to ambitious sustainability targets and wants to work collaboratively to meet these goals.”
In a written statement emailed to The Associated Press, the Dutch government said it was aware of KLM and other carriers initiating legal proceedings.
“As we are currently facing a potential legal procedure, we cannot at this time respond to the arguments shared by KLM and other parties,” the statement said.
“We remain committed to reducing the number of aircraft movements to an expected 440.000 by November 2024,” the government said.
It was not clear when the summary case would be heard in a Dutch courtroom.