Schiphol CEO resigns after summer chaos

Schiphol Airport CEO Dick Benschop has resigned after a chaotic summer season that saw numerous airport delays, flight cancellations and the introduction of passenger capacity limits at the Amsterdam hub.

The airport’s supervisory board accepted Benschop’s resignation on Thursday (September 15th), but he will remain in office until a successor is found.

Benschop, who assumed the role of chairman and chief executive and group chief executive Royal Schiphol in May 2018, said he was stepping down voluntarily to help the airport restore its image.

“A lot of attention and criticism has been directed at how Schiphol is tackling issues and my responsibility as CEO,” he said in a statement.

“On my own initiative, I am giving Schiphol the space to make a fresh start. I don’t want the focus on me as an individual to become an obstacle for Schiphol.

He went on to say, “The situation at Schiphol and what it means for our travelers and employees is close to my heart. I’ve done my best, but we’re not there yet. I hope things will improve soon. I like Schiphol. Leading this company has been a great honor.

The rapid rebound in post-pandemic travel during the summer season in Europe has seen airports scramble to meet demand, where widespread staff shortages have led to airport delays and last-minute flight cancellations.

Home to the Dutch branch of Air France-KLM, Schiphol has not been immune to chaos and the carrier was forced to cancel up to 20 flights a day in July and August. To relieve pressure on staff, the airport has limited passenger numbers during the summer peak period and recently extended caps through October.

Schiphol has also introduced a temporary compensation scheme to reimburse travelers who have missed flights due to long security screening delays.

Supervisory board chairman Jaap Winter said that due to the “bad news” of recent months, the board was in regular contact with Schiphol management, where “all opportunities for improvement were and continue to be identified. ‘be discussed’.

Thanking Benschop, he added: “Under Dick’s leadership, far-reaching measures have been taken to stabilize the situation at Schiphol. Improvements were made during the summer, but this is not enough. Further intervention in the capacity and management of security companies is needed.

“As a national and international airport, Schiphol must once again offer the quality of service that passengers and airlines are used to… We respect and understand Dick’s decision to step down. We hope to find a successor soon.

About Jonathan J. Kramer

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