Norwegian government decides to introduce seat tax for the airports in Norway. Then Ryanair announces they will stop their operations in Rygge. The board of Rygge airport will discontinue operations if Ryanair withdraws from the airport. Around 1000 employees will lose their jobs.
The airport director Pål F. Tandberg confirms the decision to VG.
– We will have a dialogue with the government. There may be some who saves the job, but it looks majority of the employees will lose their jobs, says Tandberg.
He states that they tried in a systematic way to get the government to change its decision. He also notes that they will lose two thirds of the volume and one million passengers with the decision of Ryanair due to the introduced tax.
Erna Solberg Blames Ryanair
On her own Facebook page, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg refuses the criticism that the problem is the tax:
– None of the Norwegian airports are closed down because of a tax on flights. In this specific case it is a matter that Ryanair does not wish to make use of the airport at Rygge, allegedly because of the new tax – a tax that does not otherwise appear to prevent Ryanair to fly to other airports in Norway, writes Solberg.
She adds it is regrettable that the current airport seems to be so dependent on one single airline, which has repeatedly put pressure on governments, politics and public administration around Europe to evade taxes. The government can not be surrendered by Ryanair when it comes to apply the rules in Norway, writes she.
If one is in bed with the devil, then you risk waking up in hell
The labor organizations in Norway accuses the government, Ryanair and the airport management who has cooperated with Ryanair. The responsibility for this situation is the airport management as well as the aircraft seat fee, says Peggy Hessen Følsvik, first secretary of LO to NTB.
She is also critical of the owners of the airport, whom she describes as the ones having cooperated with Ryanair.
– If one is in bed with the devil (implying Ryanair), then you risk waking up in hell. Ryanair is a company that is notorious for its ruthless business practices. It has been known for years, yet the airport has chosen to work so dependently with this company. Then it should not actually come as a surprise that this is happening, said Følsvik to VG.