KLM to appeal to CBb against decision to increase airport charges at Schiphol

On 25th November 2021, KLM lodged an objection with the Dutch Authority for the Consumer & Market (ACM) against the decision made by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to increase its port dues by 9%, 12% and 12% respectively over a three-year period from 2022-2024, a cumulative 37%. This objection was also filed on behalf of KLM Cityhopper, Transavia, Martinair and Air France.

The ACM made a decision regarding the airlines' objections on 24th March 2022. KLM is extremely disappointed that the ACM has chosen to disregard almost all of the airlines' objections and has missed an opportunity to further supplement the reasonableness of the Aviation Act, which could have resulted in a proportionate distribution of the pain of the COVID crisis.

In the opinion of KLM, KLM Cityhopper, Transavia, Martinair and Air France, this is an extremely strict interpretation of the Aviation Act and an interpretation of the settlement mechanism that ignores its original purpose. According to the airlines mentioned above, the ACM does not protect the users against excessive charges by the monopolist Schiphol (the original purpose of the Aviation Act), but instead shifts all of the monopolists’ business risks that have arisen during the COVID period, on to the airlines. There is no alternative airport infrastructure of this scale in the Netherlands. Airlines are therefore forced to purchase their services from Schiphol.

The ACM rejects the airlines' objections to Schiphol offsetting the COVID losses; while at the same time the ACM, in view of the COVID crisis, does allow Schiphol to deviate from the allocation system, allowing it to pass on more costs.

KLM will therefore lodge an appeal against the ACM decision with the CBb (Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal).