Ryanair slams Swedish environment tax plans

The low price airline Ryanair has declared its opposition to the proposal from the Swedish government and its allies to introduce a new flight tax of 100 kronor. If the tax is introduced it will harm the tourist business and economic growth in Sweden, argues the company, which is urging the Swedish parliament to reject the proposal.

To counter the proposed tax, Ryanair is cutting prices by 100 kronor on return trips, announced managing director Michael O’Leary at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Fixed environmental taxes have never had any positive effects on the environment, in that they do nothing to promote environmentally friendly alternatives,” said O’Leary.

In a side swipe at rival airline SAS, O’Leary said that if the government really wanted to help the environment it would force the Scandinavian airline to modernise its fleet to reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise “as Ryanair has done”.

The tax would not stop Ryanair from flying to Sweden, but the company said that when it came to expansion of routes, other European destinations would be prioritised.

“This tax will prevent people with normal incomes from flying and means that fewer tourists will choose to fly to and from Sweden,” said Michael O’Leary.

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TT/The Local