That wrote the Telegraaf earlier this week. On April 30, the second weekend of the May holiday, Benschop boarded a KLM flight to Porto with his wife and their three children. Meanwhile, at Schiphol it was a mess: there were hours of queues, people missed their flights. But, the newspaper writes, Benschop ‘as a platinum member had little trouble with that’.
Sailing a boat on King’s Day
De Telegraaf reports that Benschop was invisible, especially at the beginning of the chaos that was caused by crowds. Spokespersons for Schiphol attributed this to a corona infection, but Benschop was photographed on King’s Day while he was on a boat with his wife in The Hague.
During that period, the airport was so busy that many flights were delayed or cancelled.
‘Comes across as silly’
Today Benschop responded in the Buitenhof program to the criticism of his absence. “That sounds silly, I realize that very well,” he said about the boat trip. The boss of Schiphol said that he had been at home all week with a corona infection and that day “escaped and was briefly in that boat”. “The rest of the day I was available and reachable again.”
Benschop returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier than planned last Tuesday, because the queues at Schiphol were normal again last Monday.
He was in Davos to talk about making aviation more sustainable. Benschop has also been criticized for this. “That kind of criticism, I’m not an ice bunny either, of course that’s just not fun.” Benschop is due to appear in the House of Representatives next Tuesday to talk about the chaos at the airport.
There is great pressure on Schiphol to start running smoothly again. Last week, the airport presented an action plan to manage the summer crowds in the right direction, but it is highly questionable whether this will be on time.