Ryanair Appeals Consumer Protection Fine

Transport

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair said yesterday it had appealed to the courts after Hungary fined it for passing on to customers the cost of a business tax meant to target excess profits, the online portal of Irish broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann reported.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's government announced the special tax targeting "extra profits" earned by major banks, energy companies and other firms in May.

The new levy on the airline industry involves a tax worth EUR 10 to EUR 25 per passenger departing Hungary from July. Ryanair said earlier this month that it would appeal against a HUF 300 million (USD 726,000) fine following a consumer protection investigation.

The airline said it was "confident that EU Courts will validate its decision to pass on this retrospective tax to passengers."

In an emailed statement, Ryanair's group chief executive Michael O'Leary said that EU law guarantees airlines' freedom to set prices and pass on retrospective tax es to consumers.

O'Leary added that "applying an 'excess profits' tax to the loss-making airline sector in Hungary is inexplicable, and only succeeds in making flying to/from Hungary more expensive and less competitive compared to other Central European airports." 

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