The issues at Schiphol were some of the worst during a summer when the worldwide aviation industry was unable to keep up with an increase in travel because of a staffing deficit caused by the Covid pandemic’s mass layoffs of thousands of people.
Benschop’s decision was made as travelers waited hours in line to board aircraft after Europe’s second-largest airport once more requested that flights be canceled on Monday.
“There is a lot of attention, and also criticism, for the way in which Schiphol is tackling the problems and for my responsibility as CEO,” Benschop said in a statement.
“I am making room on my own initiative to give Schiphol the space to make a new start,” he said.
Benschop forewarned that Schiphol would soon publish additional “bad news” measures for the upcoming weeks, which will cause more trouble at the airport, which at its busiest in 2019 processed about 72 million people.
At a meeting of the airport’s supervisory board on Wednesday night, Benschop, a former senior executive at Shell and deputy minister, announced his resignation.
“He will remain in his function until a successor has been appointed,” Schiphol added in the statement.
Benschop blamed staff shortages last month for the summer’s long lines, which caused many passengers to miss flights despite arriving hours before departure.
Since July, the airport has limited the number of travelers in an effort to shorten wait times.