Amsterdam Flights Disrupted by Public Transport Strike

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -
Empty tracks and platform at the Amsterdam Railway Station, during a national public transport strike that has affected many international flights. (Reuters/Eva Plevier)

Around 80 flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol airport were canceled on Tuesday as a nationwide public transport strike made it hard for passengers and staff to get to Europe’s third-largest airport.

Almost all train, bus and tram drivers in the Netherlands staged a 24-hour strike on Tuesday, protesting proposed reforms of the country’s pension system.

KLM airline had advised passengers to postpone their travel plans and offered them the opportunity to reschedule flights to another date free of charge.

Britain’s EasyJet canceled 24 flights after the airport had asked airlines to limit the number of passengers coming to Schiphol as much as possible.

Other operators to cancel flights and offer alternative travel dates were United Airlines, Flybe and Ryanair.

The strikes, which led to large traffic jams around major Dutch cities early on Tuesday, are part of larger protests, which are expected to lead to walk-outs in factories and among public services workers on Wednesday.

Unions are demanding that the government drop its plans to increase the retirement age and cap it at its current level of 66, as well as making it easier for people with physically demanding jobs to stop working earlier.