Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) will close its Oslo Rygge base at the beginning of the 2016/17 winter season should Norway proceed with plans to impose a NOK80 (USD9.07) passenger surcharge with effect from April 1. Proposed by the leftist Liberal Party, the levy aims to curb demand for air travel thus pushing citizens to use more environmentally-friendly forms of transport such as bicycles and trains. The bill's final reading is scheduled for February 21 following which, assuming there are no objections, it will be promulgated into law.

Pål Tandberg, Rygge Airport's managing director, told local media that Ryanair would close its base from November 1 if the tax is imposed. The Irish LCC is by far the largest operator out of the Oslo airport holding over 90% of its weekly capacity with flights to twenty-seven destinations.

Tandberg also warned of serious consequences to workers employed at privately-run airports around Norway. In Østfold County alone, he claimed that up to 1,000 jobs could be lost with another 3,000 to 4,000 at risk nationwide.

"It is we who have used Ryanair as a means to create jobs," he said. "Now that means is about to disappear."

While Oslo Rygge is Ryanair's only base in Norway, it also operates out of Oslo Torp and Haugesund. And, though it applied for and was awarded summer slots at Oslo Gardermoen, Ryanair has reportedly declined them thus putting on ice any current plans to operate out of Oslo's principal gateway.