ESA: Exemptions from the air passenger tax is not illegal state aid

The airline NorwegianThe airline Norwegian.Photo: Norway Today Media

EFTA Surveillance Authority are determined that the exception that Norway has placed in the air passenger tax, is not in violation of the EEA rules on state aid.

The fee was approved by the Parliament in December 2015 and imposed on all commercial flights from Norwegian airports from June 2016. However, there was added an exception for so-called Transfer- and transit passengers.

ESA received a complaint against Norway  from NHO Luftfart in June last year. The organization said the exception was an advantage for airlines that operates with multiple networks and has many destinations.

NHO Luftfart argued that airlines that require that passengers themselves provides connection tickets will suffer.

– ESA can not decide whether the air passenger tax is a good tax policy, but can only to consider whether it constitutes as illegal state aid. And it does not, says ESA President Sven Erik Svedman.

ESA assessed the exception of air passenger taxes before the complaint was received and notified the Norwegian authorities May last year  that the agency did not find that any state aid was involved.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today