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            october 15, 2019

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Schiphol's capacity shortage could end Kalitta Air's service to Dutch hub


US all-cargo carrier Kalitta Air may have to stop its operations to Schiphol airport after 15 years as a result of capacity shortages at the Dutch hub.
In a Department of Transportation (DoT) filing, the airline hit out at the "domination" of the Dutch airport by members of the Sky Team alliance and said a local rule designed to aid freighter operators had failed to help its cause. It is therefore faced with the prospect of having to end services to the Dutch hub, reports London's Air Cargo News.
Kallita explained that it is currently the only US carrier that offers scheduled all-cargo services between Amsterdam and the US, flying twice weekly from New York JFK with Boeing 747-400F aircraft. The carrier said that in 2017 it lost its "historic" slots at the airport because its services did not meet expected arrival time requirements.
Kalitta explained the reason it missed these targets is that the eastbound legs were dictated by the US Department of Defence, which uses the flights for military charter flights to the Middle East.
Because the carrier had lost its historic slots, it would need to rely on unused slots returned by other carriers in a "hand-to-mouth" fashion. However, these are becoming increasingly scarce because the airport is reaching its slot limit of 500,000.
"This has artificially constrained the airport's capacity, and effectively foreclosed new entry as well as threatened to eliminate some existing service," Kalitta said in its filing.
"The only winners in this situation, of course, are the largest incumbent slot holders at (Schiphol)."
In response to its loss of historic slots, Kalitta filed a complaint under the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act against the Dutch government, the Airport authority, and the slot coordinator in January on the basis that it was being deprived of the four weekly slots necessary to perform the services guaranteed under the US-European Union Open Skies Agreement.
Kalitta said the complaint was dismissed when the 'local rule' was adopted at Schiphol, which gives priority to all-cargo airlines for a certain percentage of the returned slots.
However, it claims that the local rule is only applicable to carriers with historic slots, something it lost in 2017.
"Despite the carrier's repeated and continuing efforts to obtain slots, come Winter 19 season on October 27, it appears that Kalitta will have no slots, as its requests have been refused, and it is on a lengthy wait list.

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