There’s a move afoot to end flights between Brussels and Amsterdam, because members of the Dutch government believe the flight is too short.
KLM currently runs 5 flights a day between the two cities.
Amsterdam and Brussels airports are about 125 miles apart if you’re driving, 98 miles by air.
Dutch members of parliament want these flights banned. They say the cities are so close together that people should take the train or a bus instead of flying, in the interests of the environment.
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In fact people traveling between the two cities generally do take the train, opting to fly KLM in and out of Brussels when they’re connecting in Amsterdam to points beyond such as making a transatlantic trip or a journey to Asia. It’s not the short hop on the ERJ-175, ERJ-190, or Boeing 737 that’s contributing the bulk of the carbon dioxide emissions from the trip.
KLM flies in and of of Brussels in order to compete in the Brussels market for travel throughout the world, since they operate a global hub. They aren’t filling planes with origin and destination traffic.
Advocates of eliminating the flights suggest that at a congested airport like Schipol there’s no reason to be using scarce takeoff and landing positions for Brussels flights, and that the capacity could be better utilized if people took the train. Of course connecting passengers then must get from the train station to the airport which entails CO2 emissions as well, not to mention inconvenience.
The Dutch government just invested in Air France KLM, it would seem odd to cede market share for the group to competitors like Lufthansa Group (which controls Brussels Airlines) and to British Airways. Despite the claim, by the way, that the UK’s Air Passenger Duty is meant to benefit the environment connecting itineraries originating outside Britain are exempt from the tax (though such passengers are presumably contributing more to emissions).