Schiphol airport eyes drastic drop in 2009

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The Dutch airport operator expects another 10 percent drop this year, following a decline of 1.8 percent in air traffic last year.

THE HAGUE – Air traffic through Amsterdam's Schiphol airport declined 1.8 percent last year due to the global financial crisis, and may drop another 10 percent in 2009, Dutch operator Schiphol Group said Monday.

"This year, Schiphol expects ... a six percent to 10 percent decline in air transport movements," the company said in a statement.

"This expected decline in passenger and cargo traffic is a direct result of the global financial crisis," said group president Jos Nijhuis.

In 2008, 47.4 million passengers travelled through Schiphol, a drop of 0.8 percent, while cargo dropped 1.4 percent to 1.6 million tons.

The group said an environmental tax on departing passengers, introduced on 1 July, had also contributed to the slow-down.

"In August, we thought that passenger numbers would decrease by ... one percent in 2009. However, as the global financial crisis deepened in the final months of 2008, we have had to reassess our business strategy," said Nijhuis.

Investment projects for 2009 to the value of EUR 180 million have been delayed.

[AFP / Expatica]

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