Ryanair is considering reopening at Rygge

RyanairRyanair Aircraft. Photo: Ryanair

Ryanair is considering reopening at Rygge airport

The boss of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, says they are in talks about reopening their base at Rygge Civil Airport, reports Nettavisen.


The airport in Østfold was closed in 2016 after Ryanair shutdown its service.

– We have shutdown the bases in places like Marseille or Rygge because of the threat of being forced to allow trade unions. – Now that we have volunteered to talk to trade unions, we are considering and are in active discussions with these airports to re-establish basesn, says the CEO in Ryanair during the company’s analysis presentation on Monday.

Board member in Rygge Civilian Airport, Espen Ettre, confirms that they are in contact with Ryanair.

– This was surprising to us as well, but it is positive. We’ll see what this leads to, he says to Nettavisen.

Right not to be pressured by Ryanair, says Solberg

Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) states that it was right not to yield to the pressure Ryanair applied to the Government when the airline seat fee was introduced.

– This shows that it was right for the government not to push pressure when Ryanair fought against the airline seat fee. They are known for exerting pressure on Governments, politics and management around Europe to avoid taxes and fees. In Norway, the tax base will be broad and contribute to the green change, says Solberg in an email to NTB.

– An organized and serious work life is important, and it is good that Ryanair finally stops countering employees from organizing themselves. If it can also lead to jobs at Rygge, that is fine, says Solberg.

We will not prevent Ryanair from returning

The Liberals (V) will not stop Ryanair from starting flying on Rygge, says transport spokesperson, Jon Gunnes.

– They may want to get started at Rygge again. We will not prevent them, says Gunnes to NTB.

When Venstre received support for a flight seat fee in 2016, Ryanair responded by closing their base at Rygge. The airport had to shutdown operations, and many blamed the Liberals.

– There was no less made by Norwegians after the fee, says Gunnes, showing to the passenger numbers by SAS and Norwegian.

Gunnes believes Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary’s, statements on Monday indicate that the seat fee was not the reason why the company closed the operation down. O’Leary says that the threat of being “forced” to allow trade unions was the reason.

– His reasoning is not 100% sound, Gunnes comments.

The fee is NOK 83 per ticket. Gunnes admits that it has not contributed to reaching the goal, which is to make people fly less, but points out that the model is not the way the Liberals wished for.

– The fee ought to be differentiated, with a higher sum on long journeys, he says, confirming that the party is still working to achieve this.

Parat positive to get Ryanair back at Rygge

– We will be on Rygge and receive Ryanair with open arms and lots of membership forms, says Deputy Director in the trade union Parat, Vegard Einan.

– We claimed that Ryanair closed down because they had to follow Norwegian law, which they confirm today. Einan says to NTB.

He indicates that the trade union has won, both in Norway and in the European Court of Justice, with the requirement that it is the national labour legislation in which the employees are stationed that is law. Einan therefore expects employees at a Ryanair base to have the same rights as other Norwegians.

– We have a bad experience with Ryanair, but we are going to give them another chance, the Parat deputy leader states.

– That will provide jobs that Østfold and Rygge need, says Einan.

Parat supported the stewardess, Alessandra Cocca, who in 2013 sued Ryanair for unlawful termination and illegal hiring via third party companies. The union won both in the court of law and in the court of appeals. Ryanair appealed to the Supreme Court, but entered into a settlement with Cocca before the appeal was brought up.

Facts about Rygge Civil Airport

  • Rygge is a airport on the border between Rygge and Råde municipalities in Østfold, about ten kilometers southeast of Moss city center.
  • The civil airport was opened in 2007 and operated until he autumn of 2016.
  • The reason for the shutdown was that Ryanair decided to discontinue its base due a passenger fee of NOK 88 per ticket being imposed.
  • The closure affected around 500 employees.
  • A private group has been working towards reopening of the airport. Jotunfjell Partners AS bought all the shares in that company last April, announcing that they were working towards a reopening in 2018 or 2019.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today