Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has to pay a 300 million forint (€764,000) fine in Hungary after the company passed on a special tax imposed on passengers on July 1. Ryanair misled its customers through unfair business practices, Justice Minister Judith Varga wrote on Facebook on Monday. The airline immediately announced an appeal.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government imposed an additional tax on profits from certain companies on July 1. She wants to use the proceeds to help offset skyrocketing energy and food prices. At Ryanair, the tax was between €10 and €25 extra per ticket – even for flights booked before July 1, the low-cost airline pays these costs.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary called the tax “stupid” while the government declared it “highway robbery”. He predicted a “spectacular decline in air traffic in Hungary”. On Monday, Ryanair stressed that European legislation allows the airline to set ticket prices without hindrance. Ryanair reserves the right to sue in the European Courts.
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