Emirates Wants To Fly The A380 To Amsterdam Twice A Day

Emirates A380

TravelingForMiles.com may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on TravelingForMiles.com are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. TravelingForMiles.com does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Emirates CEO Tim Clark has a twice-daily A380 service between Dubai and Amsterdam on his wish-list but he’s not getting much support from the Dutch authorities.

Emirates is the only Middle Eastern carrier to fly the A380 into Amsterdam but it would like to increase the frequency from one to two per day. Currently the second daily Emirates service between Dubai and Amsterdam is served by a Boeing 777-300ER.

The stumbling block doesn’t appear to be Schiphol Airport but rather the Dutch government who, for what appear to be prestige reasons, has so far not acceded to Emirates’ request.

Business Traveller speculates that the Dutch government is attempting to protect KLM from competition (which I’m pretty sure is against EU regulations):

KLM is a sixth-freedom airline and that means it must sustain a healthy global network in order to survive in the long-term.

Most KLM passengers are transferring at, rather than travelling to/from, Amsterdam. And Schiphol, with its myriad shopping opportunities and other attractions, is specifically designed to handle transfer traffic.

So if Emirates, also a sixth-freedom carrier, was to expand at Amsterdam it would threaten KLM’s market share not only to the Gulf but also to a multitude of destinations in Africa, India and throughout the Far East.

Remember, KLM stands to lose long-haul passengers and these are considered the most lucrative for any airline.

It’s not only the Dutch Government that is less than keen on Emirates bringing a second A380 to Schiphol but the Dutch pilots’ union is against the idea too.

KLM Aircraft at Amsterdam SchipholKLM at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport

In what sounds rather like the same complaint the big 3 US airlines keep parroting, the head of the Dutch pilots’ union claims not to be against competition (of course not!) but rather that it wouldn’t be a level playing field…..by which he means that the financially crippled Air-France KLM (which appears to be the European airline equivalent of Greece) could not compete with the might of the Middle East carrier.

On of the more amusing arguments put forward by the pilot’s union is that in difficult times foreign carriers could desert Schiphol but “KLM doesn’t have this luxury“.

So, just like any other carrier and their hub airport then!

By this argument no airport should allow foreign expansion in case they up sticks when things go bad. I wonder how the pilots’ union would feel if KLM were refused any changes in service to….say…. London Heathrow?

That’s very much the home of British Airways and, apparently, foreign airlines can’t be trusted not to jump ship in tougher times so, to protect Heathrow (from where BA doesn’t have the luxury of leaving) the UK authorities should deny all future KLM expansion requests. It’s utter nonsense.

This is the trouble with airlines and their unions…they get very protectionist when they think that something or someone may actually bring competition into markets in which they operate (and bring benefits to consumers) but, as soon as expansion benefits them, they won’t shut up about free market economics. And they’re so self-serving and blinkered they can’t even see their own hypocrisy.

Featured image courtesy of Emirates.