Widerøe fees threaten the profitability of routes

Widerøe aircraftWiderøe aircraft.Photo : Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix

New, altered and increased fees makes it harder to operate airlines where people need them the most, says Widerøe.

The company lists a number of new and altered fees and charges involving several million in additional expenses, Dagsavisen writes.
– The plane seat fee is undoubtedly the one of those that has hit us the hardest, but it is still the sum of all fees which makes it very difficult to ensure both that the number of flights we offer,  sufficiently serve the needs in the districts of Norway and that we are able to run our operations at a profit,  communications manager of Widerøe, Silje Brandvoll, says .

According to Widerøe the dues and charges on certain routes have increased by over 50 percent. The company operates at 46 airports in Norway, many in rural areas with few transportation options.
– For many, the only options for  public transport services are Widerøe and “the bus”. Due to the large distances, our flights are often the only real option,  Brandvoll says. Routes that go to or from places where there are few people, which means a smaller “pool” of passenger for the flights, can go from being profitable to be unprofitable, she says.

Around 65 percent of the Wideroe routes are operated commercially, and it is with those that the increase in fees and charges has been felt the most. The other routes operated on the basis of tenders they have had accepted by the state, and the company gets compensation for the loss of profits on those.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today