The Norwegian government’s proposed airline seat tax drew another powerful opponent this week when the country’s air ambulance service came out against it as well. Norway’s largest trade union confederation LO has also declared it opposes the NOK 80 tax, fearing it will result in job losses at airports and airlines.
Ryanair has been among the most vocal opponents, threatening to close its hub at the Rygge airport south of Oslo in Moss if the taxis imposed. That in turn threatens to close the airport altogether, prompting the air ambulance service (Luftambulansen) to send out its alarm.
“Consideration for folks’ life and health is the basis of our opposition to the airline seat tax,” Øyvind Juell, leader of the air ambulance service, told newspaper Moss Dagblad this week. He said the Rygge Airport has “an especially important function,” and its closure would mean a serious loss of alternatives to Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen.
LO, meanwhile, claimed that the proposed seat tax on all flights would have dire consequences for small airports in outlying areas of Norway. Some routes may be halted and jobs lost. The new tax is still due to take effect April 1, but the government faces massive opposition to it.