Ryanair Forced to Cancel 16 Routes in Norway Due to New Tax

R yanair confirmed earlier today through this press release that it will be forced to close its base in Oslo Rygge as of Saturday, October 29, 2016 and reduce its traffic in Norway by approximately 50 percent after the government of Norway confirmed the introduction of a new tax of 80 Norwegian kroner — or approximately $9.87 — to be paid by all airline passengers departing from any airport in Norway on both domestic and international flights.

Ryanair Forced to Cancel 16 Routes in Norway Due to New Tax

That 50 percent reduction in traffic translates to roughly 900,000 fewer passengers — and less traffic means a loss of approximately 1,000 jobs — due to the tax, which Ryanair calls “environmentally unfriendly” and predicts that it will “damage Norwegian tourism, traffic and jobs.”

Additionally, Ryanair will move four aircraft and jobs out of Norway to other bases operated by Ryanair; switch its London Stansted and Vilnius routes to Oslo Gardermoen — where it can avail of low cost airport agreements at Stansted and Vilnius; and switch the remaining eight Oslo Rygge routes to Oslo Torp, since “Oslo Rygge has advised it cannot sustain reduced operations.”

The 16 routes which have been cancelled include Beziers, Brussels, Chania, Dublin, Edinburgh, Malaga, Palma, Poznan, Pula, Riga, Rzescow, Sczecin, Talinn, Thessaloniki, Wroclaw and Zadar.

Ryanair Not the Only Entity Opposed to the New Tax in Norway

Airlines For Europe — of which Ryanair is a member airline — also strongly condemns the airport passenger tax being imposed in Norway, claiming that Norway risks losing greater than a million passengers combined with the potential loss of thousands of jobs in Norway.

“The Norwegian Government’s planned Air Passenger Tax equivalent to NOK 80 (EUR 8.5), set to be put in place this summer on departing passengers for both domestic and international flights, will have a harmful impact on Norway’s economy and its airline industry”, according to the press release. “According to IATA analysis, the tax risks reducing the overall demand for air transport by 5%, which equals roughly 1.2 million passengers per year. In addition, the tax would lead to a reduction in the direct and indirect output of the aviation sector by an estimated NOK 1.4 billion (EUR 150 million).”

The government of Norway hopes to raise approximately one billion Norwegian kroner — or approximately $123,418,00.00 — from the new tax in 2016 alone.

David O’Brien — who is the chief commercial officer of Ryanair — said that “The illogical decision of the Norwegian Government to introduce a flat rate environmentally unfriendly tax unfairly penalises passengers on efficient, green, airlines such as Ryanair in favour of passengers on high fare, half empty, gas guzzling airlines, and destroys the cost competitiveness of privately owned Oslo Rygge Airport in favour of the state owned Avinor monopoly. As a result, Ryanair has no choice but to close its Oslo Rygge base which will result in our Norwegian traffic being cut in half”, citing that “This is a black day for Oslo Rygge, for Norway and for Norwegian tourism.”

Summary

The government of Italy will supposedly review a decision to increase taxes on passenger in January of 2016 in response to the impact its tax will have on its airports.

I personally believe that countries should consider relaxing financial requirements for travelers who cross their borders, as it would stimulate visitors spending the money otherwise spent on taxes and fees for the products and services of local businesses, who in turn pay taxes on the income to both local and federal governments; and I believe that countries would benefit more in the long run as a result.

The world headquarters of Ryanair in Swords, Ireland. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

 

6 thoughts on “Ryanair Forced to Cancel 16 Routes in Norway Due to New Tax”

  1. shaun says:

    is $9 per ticket that much? Won’t both “low cost” & “high cost” airlines both be forced to pay it…so affects all airlines equally? Or does this hurt their smoke and mirrors advertising strategy of start low and sell add ons?

    1. Greg N says:

      @shaun – They do have some fares that start around $11 (actually Oslo to Riga starts at only $6) so this tax would add significantly to the cost of those flights.

  2. augias says:

    well, considering that the “real” cost of Ryanair tickets isn’t all that much lower than any other carrier, as they charge for everything, even water on board (!), this is a bunch of BS. The equivalent in the USA would be Spirit airlines, except Ryanair is worse in just about every way. For a while they were even planning to charge for using the bathrooms!
    $9 isn’t that much. “unfairly penalises passengers on efficient, green, airlines such as Ryanair in favour of passengers on high fare, half empty, gas guzzling airlines”. This cracked me up. Every single passenger will pay the same amount, so it does not penalize Ryanair passengers. “Green airlines”? There is no such thing, they all burn fossil fuels. I’m skeptical that Ryanair uses the most fuel-efficient aircraft, since they are not flying Dreamliners or such modern aircraft. That fares on other carriers are higher than on Ryanair has nothing at all to do with this tax. This is classic spin-doctoring, but it’s not very skillful. I doubt they’ll fool anybody.
    Good for the Norwegian government to not give in to the scum that runs Ryanair.

  3. Christian says:

    I admit that I’m not a fan of the new tax. That aside, how is Ryanair being forced to do anything, Brian?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am simply using the words used in the official press release from Ryanair, Christian.

  4. John says:

    Let me make a suggestion: next time, don’t use Ryanair’s crappy marketing, and post your own opinion about it. This is actually what readers are expecting from a travel blogger. Ryanair clearly isn’t forced to shut anything. I’m pretty sure a little research will find other airports/countries with taxes just as high (they’re flying to the UK right?).

    I flew Ryanair twice, and actually got away with a 0$+tax ticket to Spain. No extra fees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *