Ryanair has slashed its routes to Denmark for the upcoming winter season. The Irish-based low-cost airline has dropped the number down from 23 to only five nationwide.
The biggest loser is Billund Airport in Jutland, which has seen 14 of its 18 weekly flights cut by the airline.
The reason behind the cuts is said to be a double tax that could be levied against airline employees from January 1 next year.
If the agreement is approved by politicians in Ireland and Denmark this autumn, Danes based in Denmark who are employed by the Irish airline – who already pay taxes in Ireland – could also be taxed Denmark.
“I think the number of flights included in Ryanair's winter traffic program is surprisingly low,” Billund airport head Kjeld Zacho Jørgensen told check-in.dk.
"We will try to enter into a dialogue with the company to get some more routes, as this is clearly on the low side of what we have been accustomed to.”
Ryanair said that the reductions have nothing to do with taxes and everything to do with seasonal scheduling.
"All airlines operate more flights and routes in summer than in winter, given summer is the peak season for demand," said company Elina Hakkarainen. "Ryanair is no different."
Hakkarainen said that Ryanair will operate three less routes at Billund this winter than last winter, but would still be operating 44 flights to and from Billund per week, compared with 58 last year.
"The reason why we have cut back is simply the lack of available aircraft and profitable frequencies," she said. "These small reductions bear no relation to Danish tax regulations. Ryanair already complies with all rules and will comply with any changes in rules."