The Netherlands can count on the consequences of the US government as the Dutch slot operator has taken back the take-off and landing rights from the US airline JetBlue. Aviation expert Joris Melkert of TU Delft thinks so. “Revenge is definitely a possibility.”
Aviation expert: Netherlands may expect retaliation from US after JetBlue ban
“The US government has already sent a warning letter to our minister and there will be a meeting at the end of this month,” says Melkert. “There is no chance of repercussions from this.”
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JetBlue has only been active at Schiphol since the end of August. CEO Robin Hayes firmly told BNR that the company is ‘not going anywhere’. Nevertheless, JetBlue has already urged the US government to take retaliatory measures against Dutch companies, particularly KLM, if the company were to leave Schiphol.
Melkert thinks this approach is understandable. ‘JetBlue has invested in the connection with the Netherlands and they have thought about it. It’s not very good if they lose that link next year. They will surely be avenged. KLM fears retaliation, says Melkert. ‘KLM is a major user on the route to the US, so if US sanctions are imposed, they will be the first victim.’
Withdrawal of Dutch rights
In addition to the sanctions, Melkert says it is also conceivable that major US airports will take back take-off and landing rights for Dutch airlines in response to JetBlue’s forfeiture of rights at Schiphol.
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‘These places are often negotiated as a balanced distribution. If it’s lower at Schiphol, you have to take into account that you’ll get fewer seats on the other side of your flight.
Hope for revenge
It is not yet clear whether there will actually be a US counter-reaction. Until then, JetBlue can’t do much about the Dutch slot coordinator’s decision, according to Melkert. He may go to court, but I assume our slot coordinator has arranged everything according to the rules. He must trust the US government to retaliate.’
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