Ryanair scraps Sweden lines over flight tax

Low-cost airline Ryanair says it will scrap some of its routes from Sweden if the government’s proposed flight tax is introduced in the summer.

The airline says that the proposed 100 kronor flight tax means that certain routes from Malmö and Stockholm will no longer be profitable.

“This will cost passengers too much, and give us too small a profit,” airline spokesman Sean Coyle told Sydsvenskan.

Malmö Sturup Airport faces losing two lines – one of its two routes to London and one to Dublin. The company also plans to close the line from Västerås, near Stockholm, to London’s Luton Airport.

The repercussions for Sturup could also be drastic, as it faces fierce competition from nearby Copenhagen Kastrup Airport in Denmark, where flight tax has just been abolished. Fritidsresor has already announced that it is moving all its charter flights to Kastrup, and Fly Nordic is moving capacity to the Danish capital.

“This is dramatic for Sturup and for the region,” admitted Lennart Björk, managing director of Sturup, to Sydsvenskan.

“Thirty percent of current volume at Sturup is threatened,” he said, adding that it could lead to 400 job losses at the airport and in associated industries.

Västerås Airport announced on Wednesday that it was laying off 50 employees – half its staff – following the announcement. Ryanair accounts for 90 percent of the airport’s scheduled traffic.

However, airport managing director Ann Charlotte Knaust said that she was “sure” that another low-cost airline would take over the route, adding that contact had already been made with one or more airlines.

Ryanair said it has not yet decided what to do at Stockholm Skavsta and Gothenborg Säve airports.

The government’s proposal will become law in July unless it is rejected by parliament or withdrawn.

The Local