Airports Council International Europe (ACI) has criticised the introduction of Norway’s new aviation tax, calling it “short-sighted”, and warning that it “ignores the economic and wider strategic benefits of air transport”.
The tax – which comes into effect this week – sees a NOK80 (€8.59) charge made to passengers departing on domestic and international flights from Norway.
In a statement ACI said:
“ACI Europe views the introduction of this new tax as a worrying development. It is short-sighted, as it ignores the economic and wider strategic benefits of air transport – the loss of which will significantly outweigh any short–term gains for the Treasury.”
The statement also said that “A recent study found that Norwegian airports and associated aviation activity had a wider stimulating effect on the Norwegian economy, equivalent to over €8.3 billion of GDP each year, supporting 60,000 jobs”.
ACI added when “direct, indirect and induced economic impact which this aviation activity also supports” were also taken into account, the aviation industry “supports 4 per cent of Norway’s economy”.
The airports council also warned that “Other countries such as Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands have all toyed with this kind of tax before and eventually repealed it”.
“They did so acknowledging that taxing air transport directly hurts economic performance, and ultimately the State’s ability to collect wider tax revenues.”
Low-cost carrier has already said it plans to close its Oslo Rygge base, with a loss of 16 routes, and to reduce its Norwegian traffic by 50 per cent as a result of the “environmentally unfriendly” new tax.
The airline will also switch its Stansted-Oslo Rygge route (and daily flights from Vilnius to Oslo Rygge) to Oslo Gardermoen, where it says it can avail of a low-cost airport agreement.
Eight remaining Norway routes will be switched to Oslo Torp, as “Oslo Rygge has confirmed it will be unable to sustain reduced non-based services offered by Ryanair”.