Responding to government policy and public concerns over sustainable aviation, the Dutch airline industry is collaborating on a shared agenda to advance towards a cleaner, quieter, and stronger aviation sector. The Netherlands’ airlines, knowledge institutions, manufacturing industry, industry-wide associations, and trade unions presented their vision for the future of aviation.
Through ten specific commitments, they aim to contribute to a sustainable and resilient aviation sector for the people of the Netherlands. Together, these 31 parties aspire to develop a joint action plan involving the Dutch public, politicians, partners, and industry stakeholders, working towards a more environmentally friendly and robust Dutch airline industry.
The airline industry plays a vital role in connecting people, economies, and cultures and ensuring the timely delivery of essential goods like medicines, fresh food, and electronics. However, it also significantly impacts the climate and the environment. The partners believe it is essential to strike a new balance that allows Dutch citizens to fly affordably while maintaining the Netherlands’ global connectivity in harmony with the environment.
Dutch Aviation Joint Action Plan: A Good Balance
The Dutch aviation sector seeks opportunities to advance and keep up with global developments. By working together to implement the action plan effectively, the partners aim to accomplish the following in the coming years:
- A good balance with the living environment;
- Keeping the Netherlands well connected to the rest of the world;
- Keeping flying accessible to all Dutch people;
- Stronger global and European policy;
- Maintaining the Netherlands’ position as a leader in the production, logistics, and purchase of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF);
- Meeting 2030 climate targets and making good progress towards achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050;
- More international trains and excellent connectivity with Schiphol;
- More recycling and less residual waste in the airline industry;
- Quieter flights during the day and at night;
- Faster time to market for innovations such as electric and hydrogen-powered flight;
- An agreeable and safe workplace.
KLM and the Netherlands
For KLM, 2024 is all about connecting. The 160 destinations served by KLM from Schiphol make it possible to visit friends and family worldwide, do business, and discover new cultures. The airline transports important goods, including medicines. International companies establish themselves in the Netherlands thanks to its easy accessibility. And Dutch companies do business worldwide. As an airline, KLM recognizes it carries a big responsibility regarding its impact on the climate. That’s why it’s so important for KLM to operate cleaner, quieter, and more efficient aircraft and use more sustainable aviation fuel. The airline is taking steps to improve, together with all KLM colleagues.
Dutch Airline Industry Joint Action Agenda for Sustainable Aviation
Innovation is the Key
Innovation is the key to more swiftly creating a quieter and more sustainable airline industry. The industry is facing huge challenges. How do we ensure that together we meet the 2050 target of net zero CO2 emissions? The major breakthroughs needed for this will require huge efforts – also on the part of universities. Cooperation between all the partners across the chain is crucial, as is long-term commitment from government. Government policies geared to keeping talented individuals in the Netherlands and providing them with proper technical training for the jobs of the future. It’s fantastic that more than 30 parties are backing this initiative.Henri Werij, Dean of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology
Working Towards Zero Climate Impact
If we want to continue flying in the future, the impact of the airline industry on the climate, environment and our surroundings must be reduced to zero over time. It’s therefore incredible that around 30 parties linked to the airline industry have endorsed the draft. The ten commitments form a solid foundation for us to achieve improvements together with the Dutch government in both the short and longer term for a future-proof airline industry.Michel Peters, CEO of the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR)
Working Together for Sustainable Aviation
Only by working together with government, knowledge institutes and industry can we take significant steps to achieve cleaner and quieter operations. The Netherlands has the expertise, infrastructure and entrepreneurs to lead the way. The ten concrete commitments adopted by the Dutch airline industry show what we stand for, what politicians can contribute to achieve these ambitions and what the Dutch people stand to gain. Together, let’s build a future-proof airline industry for everyone.Marjan Rintel, CEO KLM
A Network to the World’s Economic Centers
The demand for air travel is high and isn’t set to go down any time soon. Schiphol and KLM’s network of frequent, direct connections to all the world’s economic centres is one of the few points where the Netherlands still stands out favourably in terms of its business climate. History has shown that once such a network collapses it cannot simply be reinstated. We should cherish this international connection, while at the same time more swiftly making flight operations cleaner and quieter. It’s good that there’s a plan for that.Ingrid Thijssen, Chairperson of the Dutch employers’ association VNO-NCW
Government Support Needed
Preparing the airline and travel industry for the future presents important challenges and opportunities. We need to put our shoulders to grindstone together: companies, knowledge centres and trade unions alike. And we certainly need government’s help. This is essential if we are to achieve our industry’s sustainability target.Gunay Uslu, CEO Corendon
Satisfying the Dutch Appetite for Travel
The Dutch have a big appetite for travel. It’s therefore important that the Netherlands remains well connected to the rest of the world, for holidaymakers and business travellers alike. For years, TUI has been investing in a young, modern fleet that is both quieter and more fuel-efficient, and we will continue to take steps towards achieving greater sustainability in the years ahead. The new cabinet now has an opportunity to restore balance and its relations with the travel industry. We hope to draft joint plans that have a positive impact on the living environment and business community. Let’s work together to create a healthy future for our amazing industry and keep holidays feasible and affordable for all Dutch people, now and in the future.Arjan Kers, General manager TUI Netherlands
Cleaner and Quieter Flights
The airline industry must become cleaner and quieter, as well as remaining accessible and safe for all Dutch people. With our commitment, we will be contributing to this while also asking the politicians to advocate for a level European playing field in terms of social rules and the equivalent safety standards for non-European airlines with free access to our citizens. In this manner, Dutch people will still be assured of optimal flight safety and the people working in the airline industry will enjoy a healthy working environment.Camiel Verhagen, President of the Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV) and pilot
We understand fully that flight operations must become cleaner, quieter and more efficient. It’s definitely best if we think and act industry-wide, so together with the business community, government and knowledge institutions. If everyone takes responsibility, we will together secure sustainable future-proof policy for our industryMarcel de Nooijer, CEO Transavia