Oslo Airport to partially close as passenger numbers shrink

Oslo Airport to partially close as passenger numbers shrink
A plane in the air at Gardermoen airport near Oslo on April 19th, 2010. Photo: AFP
Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport has initiated the closure of large parts of its terminals.

The partial closure is a consequence of a drastic reduction in the number of passengers using the airport due to the coronavirus crisis, national broadcaster NRK reports.

Oslo Airport director Stine Ramstad Westby said that air traffic is not likely to get close to pre-coronavirus levels before 2022 or 2023.

“In times like this, it’s hard to be the Airport Director at Oslo Airport. We live on customers, passengers and airlines, and it’s very said that they are not at the airport,” Westby said.

Low traffic numbers mean that the Pir Nord terminal, which facilitates both international and domestic flights, and the eastern section of the departures hall will be closed to the public in the near future.

“This will enable us to save on electricity, cleaning and maintenance. In the situation we’re in now with low revenues, every krone counts,” Westby said.

Traffic figures from last week show a decrease of 86 percent in passenger numbers compared to the same week in 2019, NRK writes.

Westby said she feared large scale job losses at the airport and was dubious as to whether a coronavirus vaccine would arrive in time to protect jobs.

“The information we have from the (Norwegian) Directorate of Health is that it will take some time before the vaccine is available to everyone in the population,” she said.

As such, she said she expected an improvement to the situation to first be seen in 2022 and 2023, with a return to normal traffic in 2025.

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