KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam Schiphol) has agreed that a report on flight cuts at Schiphol it had commissioned alongside Royal Schiphol Group in 2023 be published by the Netherlands' Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, the airline confirmed in a press release after initially halting its publication.

The flag carrier assented to the release after findings from the report were revealed to the public despite an agreement that all parties must give their approval first. KLM, along with the Board of Airline Representatives in the Netherlands (BARIN), which represents 50 carriers in the country, said they were initially against the publication of the social cost-benefit analysis as they believed its findings were “incomplete and lack balance.”

In the analysis, “the effects on climate are calculated at a global level, while the negative effects for passengers and the airline industry are calculated for the Netherlands only. Consequently, the positive outcomes predicted in the Environment & Noise Variant are greatly exaggerated and do not present a realistic scenario,” the parties said in a statement.

Furthermore, KLM said that the report failed to consider the effects of air traffic moving away from Schiphol to other airports in the world and that it ignored “the risks that the proposed scenario [environment and noise] poses to the future of the airline industry in the Netherlands, to employment, the business climate, and to the continued existence of KLM.”

The report, put together by researchers from Dutch research agency SEO, transport consultancy Significance, and environment consultants CE Delft, argues that higher air passenger taxes are a better solution to environmental issues than cuts to Schiphol's capacity.

The researchers focused on two possible variants: the government’s plan to reduce aircraft movements to 440,000 annually and what they called the Environmental & Noise Variant, which they recommended. The latter includes no limits on the number of flights but a rise instead in air passenger taxes on the basis of flight length. Additionally, the report proposes fewer night flights and subsidies for clean fuel.

Earlier, KLM and several other airlines sued the Dutch government after it decided to introduce flight caps at Schiphol. KLM Group accounts for some 60% of total traffic at Schiphol. Afterwards, the airline said it was “pleased” that the airport had opted to allow 483,000 aircraft movements in 2024, an increase compared to earlier proposals. However, the Dutch carrier has agreed to stop operating incoming flights to Schiphol arriving between 0000L and 0600L (2300Z-0500Z) starting on March 30, 2024, in line with the planned noise and pollution reduction measures.