Operating Schiphol: Our most important activity

Operating Schiphol is one of Royal Schiphol Group’s main activities. The Dutch national airport is a genuine AirportCity, where passengers, airlines and companies come together to form a dynamic 24-hour economy. Schiphol’s extensive network of destinations also makes it an important European hub. Our ambition is to develop Schiphol as the most sustainable, high quality airport.

A bird’s eye view of Schiphol

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the aviation sector is unprecedented. The total number of passengers at Schiphol decreased by 70.9% to 20.9 million (2019: 71.7 million). Cargo volumes decreased by 8.2% to 1.44 million tonnes (2019: 1.57 million tonnes). The airport recorded 227,304 air transport movements, to 316 destinations.

Unique AirportCity

Schiphol is a city that never sleeps. For passengers, visitors, employees and employers, there is always something to do: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. This is because we are developing Schiphol and our other airports based on the AirportCity formula, in which business, property, commercial services and leisure facilities also play an important role alongside aviation.

Engaging with passengers, airlines, tenants and other customers, we are constantly exploring new ways to deliver inspiring passenger journeys and experiences, and build a collaborative community.

European Mainport

Schiphol provides infrastructure and facilities for departing, arriving and transferring passengers and cargo. The processes required for this are carried out by a large number of parties. At Schiphol, business and sector partners work together in a chain of processes and responsibilities.

Despite the sharp decrease in traffic, according to the ACI Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2020, Schiphol was the best-connected European airport (2019: number 2, behind Frankfurt) and we retained third place for global hub connectivity. In 2020 Schiphol was the fourth airport in Europe in passenger volumes, and third airport in Europe in cargo volumes. Via Schiphol, the Netherlands in 2020 was connected to 316 direct destinations, in 98 countries, which were serviced by 120 airlines.

An airport with a history

Schiphol is one of the oldest international airports in the world. On 19 September 1916, the first aircraft, a military plane, landed in the polder of the drained Haarlemmermeer (Lake Haarlem) and our home carrier KLM operated its first civilian flights in 1920. In recent years, Schiphol has regularly been named best European airport for passengers and/or cargo. At 4.5 m below sea level, Schiphol is one of the world’s lowest-lying airports.