JUNE 1ST, 2016

Ryanair: Oslo Rygge Base Closure & 16 Route Cancellations After Norwegian Govt Introduces Environmentally Friendly Tax

Ryanair, Europe’s No 1 airline, today (1 Jun) confirmed that (from 29 October) it will be forced to close its Oslo Rygge base and reduce its Norwegian traffic by 50% after the Norwegian Government confirmed the introduction of an environmentally unfriendly tax, which will damage Norwegian tourism, traffic and jobs.

The Norwegian Government today introduced an 80NOK tax on all departing passengers, and as a result, Ryanair has been left with no choice but to:

Close its Oslo Rygge base from 29 Oct 2016
Cancel 16 routes
Reduce its Norwegian traffic by 50% (-900,000 passengers)
Move 4 aircraft & Ryanair jobs out of Norway to other Ryanair bases
Switch its London Stansted & Vilnius routes to Oslo Gardermoen (where it can avail of low cost airport agreements at Stansted & Vilnius)
Switch the remaining 8 Oslo Rygge routes to Oslo Torp, since Oslo Rygge has advised it cannot sustain reduced operations.

All airlines operating in Norway had repeatedly warned of the damage this tax would have on Norwegian air travel and tourism and had urged the Norwegian Government to scrap their plans. Governments in Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands had already scrapped similar taxes and returned to growth. Sadly, despite these warnings, the Norwegian Government has destroyed the competitiveness of Oslo Rygge, an independent, profitable airport, in favour of the State monopoly Avinor, and inefficient airlines.

In Oslo, Ryanair’s 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 8 Rygge routes to Oslo Torp from 30th October.

We will also move our London route to Oslo Gardermoen (where we avail of a low cost agreement at Stansted) which will increase to a 3 times daily service and our daily Vilnius service will also switch to Gardermoen, from 30th October. We will then move our Rygge-based aircraft, pilots and cabin crew to other bases in Ryanair’s 33 country network. This retrograde tax will result in the loss of 900,000 passengers per annum and 1,000 jobs for Oslo Rygge.

This tax will severely damage Norwegian tourism, particularly around regional airports. 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. Sadly, the Norwegian Government have chosen to sacrifice 1,000 jobs at Oslo Rygge for reasons which defy explanation. This is a black day for Oslo Rygge, for Norway and for Norwegian tourism.”