US Department Of Transportation Drops JetBlue Complaint Over Amsterdam Schiphol Slots


Summary JetBlue withdrew legal action after receiving agreeable slots at Amsterdam Airport.
US DOT dismissed complaint against Dutch government over landing slots.
The EU intervened to ensure JetBlue retained slots at Schiphol.
Just a few days after officially ending its planned merger with Spirit Airlines, JetBlue announced it has withdrawn its legal action against the Dutch government over landing rights at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The action was withdrawn after JetBlue was granted agreeable summer take-off and landing slots and confirmed by the US Department of Transportation on March 6.
DOT’s action got the result
JetBlue filed the complaint last year when the Dutch government was looking at implementing flight caps at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which would have seen the airline lose valuable take-off and landing slots. In return, the DOT considered reciprocal action against Dutch airlines when it ruled that the slot restrictions would violate the Open Skies agreement between the United States and the European Union.
Photo: Wirestock Creators | Shutterstock
The flight cap proposals were abandoned in November, and on February 5, 2024, JetBlue confirmed it had received its slot allocations. According to FlightGlobal, the US Department of Transport (DOT) notified JetBlue that its complaint had been dismissed as the airline requested in February. The DOT said:
“JetBlue has successfully worked with the slot coordinator, the European Commission and KLM to secure historic-eligible slots for the summer 2024 scheduling season at commercially viable times.”
The threat to JetBlue became a moot point in February when the European Commission (EU) said it would have intervened if the Dutch government had denied the airline slots. It argued that new entrants, like JetBlue, on transatlantic routes such as Amsterdam-New York were needed to offset the distorting effects on competition by airlines that combine their routes in joint ventures.
The EU was having none of this
Under the initial government plans to cut noise pollution around the airport, JetBlue would have lost all its Schiphol slots even though the EU had already voiced doubts about the legality of the move. Early in February, the EU said it would not have allowed JetBlue’s Schiphol operation to be completely closed down and that it would have intervened with interim measures for the summer 2024 season.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
JetBlue commenced flying from New York and Boston to Amsterdam Schiphol in the summer of 2023, and the EU said it had now obtained all the slots it needed in Amsterdam to continue operating in 2024. The EU added:
“JetBlue has improved its slot portfolio at Amsterdam airport during the later phases of the slot allocation process and has eventually obtained all the slots it needs to continue operating at Amsterdam airport throughout the IATA summer 2024 season. As a result, consumers will not be deprived of choice at a time of strong demand for transatlantic services.”
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The commission said it will continue its monitoring ahead of the Summer 2025 season. JetBlue also made its intentions clear when it said it would again seek intervention from US regulators should its slots at Schiphol be threatened in the future. The DOT said that although it was granting JetBlue’s request to terminate proceedings, it fully intends to continue diplomatic efforts and seek resolution of all of the issues and concerns discussed.
Have you flown with JetBlue to Amsterdam? Let us know about it in the comments.



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