Ryanair has confirmed it will close its base in Oslo Rygge as of Saturday, October 29th, 2016 and reduce its traffic in Norway by approximately 50 per cent.
The move follows a decision by the government of Norway to introduce a new tax of 80 Norwegian kroner to be paid by all airline passengers departing from any airport in Norway on both domestic and international flights.
That 50 per cent reduction in traffic translates to 900,000 fewer passengers and a loss of approximately 1,000 jobs as a result of the tax, argues Ryanair.
In Oslo, Ryanair chief commercial officer, David O’Brien said: “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.
“Since Oslo Rygge has confirmed it will be unable to sustain reduced non-based services offered by Ryanair, we will move our remaining eight Rygge routes to Oslo Torp from October.”
“This tax will severely damage Norwegian tourism, particularly around regional airports.
O’Brien added: “The Norwegian government has instantly made Norway uncompetitive and less attractive to airlines and tourists.
“The Italian Government, which hiked passenger taxes in January, has already said it will review its decision, given the impact its tax will have on its airports.”