Ryanair ‘could pull flights this summer’ over tax

Ryanair could begin to pull flights from Sweden before the summer is finished if the Swedish government doesn’t clarify its position regarding a proposed 100 kronor environmental tax on flights entering and leaving the country, said the airline’s Nordic boss Lotta Lindquist-Brosjö on Monday.

The Swedish government’s recommendation to levy additional taxes on the industry has left Ryanair threatening to cut flights if it doesn’t make a decision regarding the tax in the next six weeks.

Ministers have not yet set a date for the environmental tax to be applied. The tax has already been voted through parliament in Stockholm, but the government is waiting for the European Commission to approve exemptions for flights to remote regions.

“If this tax becomes reality, we are going to close down the Västerås and Malmö flights, and if there is no decision (by the Swedish government) within six weeks, we will decide whether to reduce frequency or pull flights from Sweden,” said Lindquist-Brosjö.

“This is purely a business deal,” she told The Local.

“We are here to fly people and make money. If we add on the tax, we will lose money. It is a commercial decision.”

In Gothenburg the total number of guest nights has doubled since Ryanair began flying there in June, 2001. In total, 1.6 million passengers have flown to or from Gothenburg with the airline.

“I hope that the Swedish government changes its mind,” Lindquist-Brosjö said.

“It is only hurting the Swedish people and the tourist industry.”

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