The Budapest competition office slapped a HUF 300 million (€760,000) fine on budget airline Ryanair, with the agency arguing that the airline improperly responded to a windfall tax imposed by the government at the end of May by increasing ticket fares for passengers.
“The Ministry of Justice, as the professional managing body, has been closely following the investigation, which has resulted in the Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection today finding a violation of consumer rules, as the airline deceived consumers through unfair commercial practices,” Justice Minister Judit Varga wrote on her Facebook page.
On May 26, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that Hungary will levy a windfall tax on corporations in a range of economic sectors to help cover the costs of the ongoing war in neighboring Ukraine. These included budget airlines, which will have to pay a €10 windfall tax per ticket.
On June 15, after the details of the windfall tax became public, Ryanair CEO lashed out at the country’s economics minister, Márton Nagy, whom he labeled “idiotic” and said that in the past 12 months Ryanair not only did not have any extra profit but posted a loss of €355 million.
After the fine was announced, Ryanair said it would contest the fine in court.