Earlier in the month of November, the DOT found out that the Netherlands government planned to reduce the number of flights traveling to the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
Consequently, the organization has now said that this plan, if put into action, would violate the aviation treaty, namely Open Skies. This is an agreement between the US and the EU.
However, the DOT is aware that Amsterdam cannot take any retaliatory action against the Dutch carriers, nor can it impose significant sanctions easily.
According to an industry consultant, Bob Mann, the Open Skies treaty does not guarantee that flights should be flown to the Schiphol Airport. Rather, he believes that it only ensures fair treatment for all.
On the 2nd of November, the DOT took to announcing that it would be taking action against the Netherlands.
On that day, the Airport Coordination Netherlands (ANCL), which is in charge of overseeing departures and landing slots at Schiphol, informed JetBlue that it would not be allocating any slots to the airline in the summer season of 2024.
Moreover, Delta was also informed by the ACNL that it would be seeing a decline in the number of Amsterdam slots it receives in the upcoming summer.
Meanwhile, United is all set to miss out on all 53 Amsterdam slots in the summer months, with the American not being allocated even a single one of its usual 22 slots.
The cuts come as part of a plan devised by the Dutch government to bring about a reduction in the noise around Schiphol and help reduce aircraft emissions.
Overall, flights departing from Amsterdam Airport are expected to be cut down by 8% in the summer of 2024.
In addition, further cuts in flying will bring the total aircraft movements to 10% or less than the levels recorded before the coronavirus.
JetBlue had just recently begun flying to the Schiphol Airport in the month of August, carrying passengers from the JFK in New York.
In September, it started to take passengers from Boston to Amsterdam and set a record for being one of the 24 top-grossing airlines to travel to Schiphol in the previous summer.
But now, it is not going to have any slot allocations for the upcoming year and has been told that it does not hold any historic slot rights at the airport.
Consequently, the 84 airlines that have already established historic slots will be facing a reduction of around 3.1% in their slot portfolio in the summer months of 2024.
As per the announcement made by the Amsterdam Airport, these cuts will apply to the aviation industry, including carriers from the Netherlands.
The airline at the top of the list was KLM, which will be limited to flying 17 fewer flights to Amsterdam in the next summer season, as compared to the number recorded before the pandemic.
According to the DOT, the Netherlands has not implemented a balanced approach to the treaty before mandating the cuts at Schiphol.
Thus, it believes that the government should have identified other potential solutions and tested them beforehand to see if they could be effective.