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How Norwegian is escaping Sweden’s tax

The low-cost carrier is having to divert capacity to low-tax Denmark – and adjust flights in Sweden itself.

Norwegian will double its flights from Denmark this coming winter season to a number of popular destinations. Denmark now has a distinct advantage as it has no environmental taxes, the airline says.

For similar reasons, Norwegian is also altering its schedules from Sweden, cutting down on long-haul frequencies and increasing its short-haul presence.

Sweden’s environmental tax, introduced on April 1, is proving to be a thorn in the side for Norwegian. Its new focus consists of reallocating aircraft capacity to Denmark, where the routes can now pay off better.

Many of the airline’s Danish routes to the Mediterranean, for example, will double in the quantity of departures compared to the previous winter program, while several summer routes will be extended into winter. Overall, there is an increase of 48 departures every week.

“Of course, we are looking for the best way to fly when we plan where extra capacity is to go,” says Thomas Ramdahl, commercial director at Norwegian.

“When politicians in Sweden decide to make air travel more expensive by imposing charges on passengers, Denmark gives a proportional competitive advantage. We assess the overall cost level.”

More flights south
The capacity increase will affect routes from both Copenhagen – to destinations such as Las Palmas, Tenerife, Malaga, Madeira and Tel Aviv – and between Aalborg and Cyprus, Athens and Catania.

“We are naturally pleased that Norwegian continues to focus on Denmark,” Copenhagen Airport’s press manager Kasper Hyllested tells Check-in.dk.

“We work closely with Norwegian to develop new routes and identify destinations where capacity can be increased. We have a strong market at CPH and there are good conditions for airlines in Denmark. We see Norway’s next winter program as an expression of this.”

Swedish tax varies
However, Norwegian is not deserting Sweden completely. It will launch a new direct route between Stockholm and Tallinn, as well as boost the number of departures to a number of popular destinations from both Stockholm and Gothenburg, reports minE24.

The airline explains that it is having to scramble long-haul routes between Sweden and the United States because of the new air tax.

This is because the new tax does not affect all destinations equally. Long-haul flights become SEK 400 (€39) more expensive, flights to countries outside the EU are SEK 250 pricier, and domestic and European routes are only SEK 60 more expensive.

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