At the end of Saturday afternoon, 4 June, KLM was “regrettably compelled” to decide that passengers at European destinations would no longer be allowed to board flights to Amsterdam. Although a substantial package of measures was taken before the weekend, the airline has faced unforeseen and urgent circumstances that are beyond its control.
Unfavourable weather conditions combined with runway maintenance at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol led air traffic control to reduce capacity on Saturday evening. Many aircraft were consequently unable to land in or depart from Amsterdam. This led to a build-up of passengers at Schiphol, causing large queues to form. In the interests of guaranteeing safety at Schiphol and maintaining a manageable situation at the airport, it was not possible for KLM to bring passengers to Schiphol in a responsible manner.
This means a large number of flights on Saturday were delayed or even cancelled. The number of passengers who were unable to depart from Amsterdam due to these external factors increased sharply.
To ensure safe and workable operations at Schiphol for passengers and crew, the airline took the far-reaching decision that no further passengers would be brought to Amsterdam. This decision was taken to ensure that as many stranded passengers as possible could depart from Schiphol on Saturday and that as many flights as possible could be operated on Sunday.
It’s incredibly unfortunate that on top of everything else today, we’re also dealing with reduced runway capacity at Schiphol as a result of unfavourable winds and runway maintenance.Rene de Groot, KLM Chief Operating Officer
“Despite intervening earlier to ensure workable operations this weekend, today has been another extremely difficult day for our passengers and crew. We are apologizing to our customers for the inconvenience and doing our utmost to ensure that we can return to workable operations as swiftly as possible”, said Rene de Groot, KLM Chief Operating Officer, in a statement from the airline.
The decision to stop bringing passengers from European destinations to or via Amsterdam remained in force for the whole of Saturday. “KLM offers its sincere apologies to passengers who were unable to travel to Amsterdam from certain European destinations, as well as those who were unable to transfer via Amsterdam to other final destinations”, read a statement from the airline.
We understand that this decision has great impact on passengers, particularly during the Whit Monday weekend. KLM would like to stress that it is doing its utmost to offer passengers alternative flights as quickly as possible.KLM statement
The airline was able to operate flights on Sunday according to the original schedule for this Whitsun holiday weekend. Furthermore, by the end of the afternoon, more than 90% of the passengers who had been unable to fly to Amsterdam on Saturday evening had arrived at their destination or been rebooked.
The number of passengers being rebooked is currently rising, which means that nearly all passengers have now been offered an alternative. KLM expects its flights to operate on schedule today, as they did on Sunday.