AMSTERDAM (AP) — The company that owns one of Europe’s busiest aviation hubs, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, slumped to a net loss of 77 million euros ($82 million) last year as months of travel chaos hit its bottom line.
“Never before in Schiphol’s history have we disappointed so many travelers and airlines as in 2022,” CEO Ruud Sondag said in a statement Friday.
The busy airport on the outskirts of the Dutch capital was one of several across Europe that was hit by staff shortages and soaring demand as air travel rebounded strongly from two years of COVID-19 restrictions. Airlines and airports slashed jobs during the pandemic, making it difficult to quickly ramp back up to serve the new burst of travelers.
Over the busy spring and summer periods, staff shortages at Schiphol often forced passengers to wait for hours in a long line that snaked out of the terminal, along an approach road and back into the airport.
The airport announced a compensation scheme for travelers whose vacation plans were derailed by cancellations or missed flights. In September, CEO Dick Benschop quit, saying he wanted to “give Schiphol the space to make a new start.”
His replacement, Sondag, said 2022 will “go down as a bad chapter in our own history books. But it is also a chapter we will not forget, so that all new chapters we write will be better.”