In an ‘Adapt & Survive’ Skype video interview, AMS Director of Consumer Products & Services Tanja Dik confirmed that almost 84 gates and their surrounding retail and F&B areas have been renovated to date, with the final phase of the ambitious programme set to complete in the coming months.
“We are in the middle of a lot of renovations at our airport and luckily most of the piers where most passengers spend a lot of time before boarding are ready,” commented Dik. “Although of course we need to minimise capex, not just for us but our business partners who are in a severe situation as well.”
The Netherlands, like much of Europe, lifted travel bans at the beginning of this month in line with European Union recommendations [The Netherlands is also on the UK’s list of ‘safe’ countries exempting travellers from quarantining on arrival in England, effective 10 July].
The government’s ‘intelligent lockdown’ aimed at combatting the virus previously courted controversy, but at the time of writing the country has recorded 6,126 deaths and 50,691 cases of Covid-19 [Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control], far fewer cases and deaths than Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, the UK and Germany.
It announced an overview of aviation measures last month in the eventuality that air traffic increases and Schiphol has implemented a number of health and safety protocols, including a 1.5 metre social distancing rule, personal protective equipment (PPE) and visible terminal signage and floor markings, among other measures.
Terminal operations have been consolidated to reflect the airport’s ‘Core Schiphol’ strategy, but as TRBusiness learns the time in lockdown has allowed AMS to pursue existing projects, including advancing construction at Pier A.
Dik added: “Luckily we never really had to close down, we’ve always had ‘Core Schiphol’: Lounge 1, Lounge 2 and some of our piers open. Thanks to our business partners in F&B and retail we could still service our passengers flying back and forth.”
Lounge’s 3 and 4 opened up last week to push the airport towards maximising the amount of square metres available to passengers in the terminal (though overall pax traffic continues to remain low), TRBusiness hears.
The TRBusiness ‘Adapt and Survive’ Skype video interview series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.
Adapt & Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.