Reply To: KLM unhappy with Ryanair gaining Schiphol slots

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In fact, Easyjet has been serving Amsterdam since it began life in the 1990s.

Luton-Amsterdam was one of, if not its first, international route(s).

I remember taking an Easyjey Amsterdam-Luton midweek 1700hrs B737 flight in those days and being amazed by the fact that, not only was the flight virtually full, but over 90 per cent of the passengers were business people. I knew then that a revolution was about to start in the short-haul airline business here in Europe. My ticket had cost something like £25 one-way AMS-LTN.

I say “amazed” because it was a different era and the conventional carriers were putting out the message that business people needed their comforts and so would not patronise low-cost carriers.

By contrast, the Gulfies were slow to arrive at Schiphol. Emirates has only been there for several years, Etihad for even less while Qatar appeared only a couple of months ago.

It was only when Easyjet began to add a few extra routes (in Stelios’ time) that KLM tried to block it.

That led to officials from the EC competitions dept raiding KLM’s Amstelveen HQ early one morning in search of proof, documents etc.

KLM backed down and Schiphol later developed a low-cost airline zone connected to its single terminal.

In recent years, Easyjet and a few other low-cost carriers have began developing services at Schiphol.

At least 60 per cent of KLM’s passenger traffic is transfer. It relies on its “waves” of short-haul flights to feed its long-haul services and vice versa. One cannot exist without the other.

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