The North’s only international airport is floundering
by Hans de Preter
Groningen Airport Eelde is the only international airport in the Northern Netherlands, and is starting to enter the danger zone. Over the past seven years, efforts have been made to attract more passengers, including through new scheduled services to cities such as Copenhagen and Munich. But these have still not been enough to attract a sustainable number of passengers, and only a daily connection to London still exists. It was also announced yesterday that the airport director, Marco van de Kreeke, has resigned.
The reason for his resignation is that he has not succeeded in making the airport even more popular with passengers, although the number of travelers has grown since he arrived.
Because the Airport has not been a huge success so far, the northern provinces and municipalities such as Groningen have to put in money every year to keep the airport open, leading to criticism from city council members. The municipality of Groningen even wants to divest its shares in ‘Eelde’.
The airport is now looking for a new director, but it will not be easy to find one because local politicians will undoubtedly look upon them with suspicion.
Companies and entrepreneurs in Groningen think that this is going too far, and point out that an airport is of great importance for the Northern economy, they have previously pleaded for a smaller business airport.
The future remains uncertain, but the airport will remain open for the time being.