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Loss of slots at Amsterdam Schiphol is fault of carriers, not protectionism

AIR cargo airline actions are to blame for their loss of slots at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and not protectionism, according to Dutch Airline Pilots Association (Alpa) manager of public affairs Joost van Doesburg.

However, there is growing consensus for change in legislation to take some of the pressure off air cargo operators, said Mr van Doesburg.

He told Londons's Loadstar that airlines, including AirBridgeCargo, lost slots after failing to operate at least 80 per cent of their scheduled flights.

"Who is to blame for lost slots - KLM, for abstaining from a vote on new local laws? Schiphol giving slots to low-cost carriers? The government for implementing EU 80:20 laws?" asked Mr van Doesburg.

"No, none of these are to blame - it is the cargo carriers themselves who, knowing the rules and seeing the airport fill up, failed to meet the 80 per cent criteria - a very stupid move on their part."

However, many in the industry regard the acceptance of 80:20 as a protectionist move designed to benefit AF-KLM. But Mr van Doesburg said to label the slot losses as protectionism was "ill-informed". He said the 80:20 rule applied to all carriers.
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