Ryanair maintains the decision to shut down their base at Rygge, but promises to drop the plans if the aircraft seat fee is rejected.
– We have sad news, sad news which we have to thank their government, Ryanair chief commercial officer David O’Brien saidwhen he opened a press conference in Oslo on Wednesday morning.
He then told about the process of the government, which in November last year proposed air passenger tax, which clearly came as a shock to the Irish budget airline. Although Ryanair was of the opinion that the finance minister Siv Jensen did not support the disputed tax, it turned out that the government was not willing to change its decision.
That means that Ryanair’s base at Rygge will close down and that the airport also will close down, with about 1,000 jobs becoming lost at and connected to the airport as a consequence.
– We were very surprised in November last year when Norway proposed an air passenger tax. We do not know what kind of tax it is and what it is meant to achieve, O’Brien says.
– In May, the tax was approved. We offered Rygge to continue a substantial portion of our operations at the airport, about 50 percent. Rygge is a profitable private company. Sadly Rygge was not able to accept our offer of reduced traffic. That means we have to shut down our base, O’Brien said.
However, the Ryanair executive also states that they will be willing to consider continued base activity in Norway and at Rygge, if the government changes its decision.
All about tax
– If we get signals this week that the tax will not be introduced after all, we will not shut down our base, or we will reopen it, depending on when this happens, he says.
– This is all about the fee. So if the tax is removed, we will return, he emphasizes.
– According to Rygge 1,000 jobs will be lost. This is a tragedy, especially since this has been a profitable private enterprise.
However, it is clear that Ryanair opens new routes from Gardermoen to London and from Gardermoen to Vilnius. Some routes will also be moved from Rygge to Torp.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today