The Hungarian Consumer Protection Office has fined the airline Ryanair 764,000 euros for “misleading consumers”, knowing that the carrier has increased its prices due to an extraordinary tax on large companies launched by the government.
“The Consumer Protection Office concluded on Monday that Ryanair had engaged in unfair commercial practices by misleading consumers”Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Facebook.
The official explained that the trustee had been investigating Ryanair since June 10, after the airline announced it would raise prices in response to the new tax.
The company, in turn, announced that it would appeal the decision and was prepared to take the case to community justice, according to business portal Portfolio.hu.
“Ryanair will appeal this unjustified fine raised by the Consumer Protection Office”said the company, which said it had not yet received official notification regarding this process.
In May, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced a series of new taxes on banks, energy companies, insurance companies and airlines, among others, to offset inflation and raise 4.1 billion euros by 2023.
Ryanair Chairman Michael O’Leary called the new tax “aggression” and “idiot”, even referring to Hungary’s Economic Development Minister Márton Nagy as “a complete idiot”.
Ryanair has argued that neither airlines nor families will be able to afford the new tax, at a time when Hungary’s tourism sector is trying to recover from the pandemic.
The Minister said on Monday that, in the current economic situation, damaged by the war in Ukraine, all multinationals that make extraordinary profits must contribute to military spending and contain energy prices.