Ryanair fined in Hungarian consumer probe – POLITICO

Ryanair has been fined 300 million forints (€763,000) by Hungary, the country’s justice minister said on Monday, after the airline raised prices following the country’s announcement of a tax on windfall profits.

The low-cost carrier said in June it would charge customers an extra €9.87 on flights from July 1, days after the Hungarian government announced a one-off two-year tax on large companies in the sectors that had performed well, including aviation.

Ryanair called the tax “illogical” and warned that it would “irreparably damage Hungarian tourism, connectivity, traffic and jobs”.

Although Ryanair did better than its rivals during COVID, it still recorded a loss of 355 million euros last year. However, the travel rebound boosted its fortunes and the carrier reported a pre-tax profit of 203 million euros for the second quarter of this year.

Justice Minister Judit Varga announced on Facebook on Monday that an investigation by the consumer protection agency found the airline had breached consumer rules.

“War inflation and the economic situation of war demand that all multinational corporations making incremental profits pay their share of the costs of air protection and national defense,” she wrote.

Ryanair said it had not yet received notification of the authority’s decision but would “immediately appeal any unsubstantiated fines”. A spokesperson said in an emailed statement that EU rules allow airlines to set fares “without any interference” from national governments or consumer protection agencies.

The airline added that it would be ready to appeal the decision in EU courts.

Additional report by Lili Bayer

Laura T. Thrasher