Royal Schiphol Group is an airport company with an important socio-economic task. The airports of the group, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in particular, create value for society and for the economy. With our mission of Connecting the Netherlands we facilitate optimal links with the rest of the world, contributing to prosperity and well-being in the Netherlands and elsewhere.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is not the Netherlands' only gateway to the rest of the world. Though the operation of this hub airport is one of our principal activities, our other airports in the Netherlands further extend our reach and impact. Schiphol Group is the owner and operator of Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Lelystad Airport, and holds a majority share in Eindhoven Airport.
We also work closely with foreign airports which strengthen our position. They include the airports of Groupe ADP, in which we have an 8% cross-participation. In addition, Schiphol Group is involved in the activities of JFKIAT at JFK International Airport's Terminal 4 in New York. We are also engaged in strategic collaboration with Incheon Airport, have an interest in Brisbane Airport and have activities at the airports of Hong Kong and Aruba. These international activities account for a significant part of Schiphol Group's results. We conduct our domestic and international operations in a balanced manner, centred around our key values of reliability, efficiency, hospitality, inspiration and sustainability.
Thanks to these activities and the strength of the group we are able to invest in growth and the highest standards of quality. By joining forces with our sector and business partners, the authorities and the local community, we can achieve our ambition to further develop Mainport Schiphol as a multimodal hub. We are positioning Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as Europe's Preferred Airport: the first choice of passengers, airlines and logistics service providers.
Over the years, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has grown into one of the largest hub airports in Europe, with 322 direct destinations. In 2016 the number of passengers served by Schiphol grew by 9.2% to almost 63.6 million. Cargo volumes increased by 2.5% to a record volume of almost 1.7 million tonnes. Schiphol is an important marketplace, with the airport site alone accommodating some 500 companies that together employ around 65,000 people.
The number of passengers at Rotterdam The Hague Airport increased by 0.3%, and at Eindhoven Airport by 9.3%. In 2016 a total of 70.0 million passengers travelled through Schiphol Group's Dutch airports, a rise of 8.9%.
To maintain its position and continue fulfilling its socio-economic role, Schiphol Group invests in infrastructure and facilities at its airports, seeking to balance a reasonable return on its equity and a stable dividend stream, on the one hand, with competitive airport charges on the other. Our sound financial policy is aimed at safeguarding the independent financing of our business, both today and in the future. Schiphol Group has four shareholders: the Dutch state (69.8%), the Municipality of Amsterdam (20.0%), Groupe ADP (8.0%) and the Municipality of Rotterdam (2.2%).
Read further: Our activities