Norwegian raises ticket prices to counter new fee

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Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix
10:10 CET+01:00
Low-cost airline Norwegian has announced an increase in ticket prices as a result of a new mandatory passenger charge set to be enforced by the government from April 1st.

While Norwegian and domestic carrier Widerøe have announced that they will raise ticket prices by 90 kroner ($10.50, €9.60) per journey from April 1st, both Ryanair and SAS said they will hold off on passing the costs of a new government-induced passenger charge on to consumers for time being.

“Ticket prices have been adjusted to take into account the implementation of the proposed passenger charge,” Norwegian’s head of communications Lassae Sandaker-Nielsen told NRK.

Widerøe is set to follow a similar line, according to the company’s own director of communications.

“We have put prices up to avoid making losses on previously-sold tickets that will now become subject to the charge,” said Widerøe’s Richard Kongsteien to NRK.

The passenger charge was approved by parliament in December, but has been strongly protested by airlines, who argue that it will damage low-cost carriers and regional routes while not achieving its intended aim of reducing overall carbon emissions.

Environmental organisations are generally in support of the charge, according to NRK.

Following approval by parliament, the proposal was given public access until February 21st for concerns to be raised prior to final ratification. These are now with Finance Minister Siv Jensen in the final stage before the charges are passed into law.

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Both SAS and Ryanair have so far resisted price increases due to uncertainty over the final outcome regarding the new charges, according to a report by Bergens Tidende. A Ryanair regional director warned, however, that the company may be forced to move its Moss Airport, Rygge base later this year should the charges become a reality.

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