Ryanair hit by Hungarian tax Michael O’Leary says he’s ‘beyond stupid’

Ryanair has been slapped with a fine in Hungary for a one-off tax that airline chief executive Michael O’Leary called “beyond stupid”.

Hungary’s Consumer Protection Board has imposed a 300 million forint (€760,000) fine for Ryanair’s decision to pass on the cost of the tax to its customers, Justice Minister Judit said yesterday Varga in a post on Facebook.

Ryanair said it would appeal the decision.

The Hungarian government and Ryanair have been embroiled in a war of words since Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s office in June imposed what it calls an “additional profit tax” in sectors ranging from energy to banking.

Airlines have been hit with severance fees under new taxes announced in June that aimed to plug budget holes following record pre-election spending and subsidize soaring energy costs.

Mr O’Leary said it was “beyond stupid” to levy such a tax on airlines as they recovered from the losses inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Varga said Hungary would launch investigations and impose fines in “all cases” where companies misused the tax on their customers.

The fine imposed on Hungary was “without merit” and Ryanair is ready to appeal all the way to the courts of the European Union if necessary, the airline said in a statement.

He added that he had not yet received official notification of the sanction.

The Hungarian budget recorded a surprise surplus in July.

Laura T. Thrasher