Norwegian air passenger tax could be replaced with ‘sustainable’ model

Norway’s Air Passenger Tax (Flypassasjeravgiften) could be replaced in a new government strategy for aviation.

An aircraft of Scandinavian Airlines SAS
An aircraft of Scandinavian Airlines SAS lands at Copenhagen Airport in Denmark on January 20th 2022. Norway is set to reform its Passenger Air Tax. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP

The government is set to propose changes this autumn that would see the Air Passenger Tax replaced by a different taxation, it said in a statement.

The existing flight tax is currently suspended as part of Covid-19 economic relief. It reinstatement after the coronavirus suspension was scheduled to end on January 1st this year, but has been delayed until July 1st.

Normally, the tax adds levies of up to 214 kroner to fare prices for passengers.

The Ministry of Transport plans to present a new strategy for taxing air travel in the autumn as part of a wider proposal for the country’s aviation sector.

The plan will describe how emissions from aviation can be reduced and how the government can both reduce prices and increase the number of services on short haul services, the government said in the statement.

“It is a target that the Air Passenger Tax will be replaced with a tax that has a genuine climate effect and better geographical profile,” it said.

Prices for passengers could be as much as halved on so-called FOT routes as part of the plan, meanwhile.

FOT routes are domestic routes which do not operate at a profit and are financed by the state. These include services operated by airline Widerøe between Førde and Oslo in the south of Norway and Lakselv and Tromsø in the north.

The government has already consulted the industry, including airlines Norwegian, SAS and Widerøe, as well as industry interest groups and environmental organisations as to how the reforms might take shape, it said in the statement.

“The aim of the aviation strategy is to contribute to sustainable Norwegian aviation. It will be mostly focused on commercial flight but the strategy will also encompass other parts of the aviation sector such as helicopter businesses and drones. New technology, education, competencies and passenger rights are other theme to be touched upon by the strategy,” the government statement reads.

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Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

The public has been warned by the Norwegian Police Directorate, which issues travel documents, to not book any foreign holidays without a valid passport due to long waiting times for travel documents.

Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

Due to long waiting times, the public has been cautioned against making holiday plans without a valid Norwegian passport as travel documents may not arrive in time for the trip. 

“We would strongly encourage people to wait to book a holiday abroad before they know that they have their travel documents in order,” Bjørn Vandvik from the Norwegian Police Directorate said in a statement on Wednesday

Previously the police said that those travelling within the EEA this summer should instead order a national ID card which allows for travel within the Schengen area because that form of travel documentation was subject to shorter waiting times. 

Those wishing to travel during fellesferie, the collective holiday period in Norway, have been advised to order new travel documents by the end of May or the beginning of June at the latest. 

Despite the measures put in place by the police to try and ensure that supply meets demand, waiting lists are growing longer, and the authorities don’t expect the backlog to be cleared until the autumn.

The current waiting time for passports is around seven weeks. However, the police have said they expect this to increase to 10 weeks by July. 

READ MORE: How do Norway’s slow passport processing times compare to Denmark and Sweden?

So far this year, the police have received 560,40 passport applications. In contrast, the police registered 270,000 applications in 2019. 

A mixture of the pandemic and war in Ukraine has made getting the materials used to produce national ID cards and passports more difficult.