Minister Nagy responds to Ryanair CEO

June 15. 2022. – 12:34 PM



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“The tone of Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is unacceptable and leaves something to be desired”- Márton Nagy, Hungarian Minister for Economic Development wrote in a statement, reacting to Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s interview in which he repeatedly referred to Nagy as “an idiot”.

The outspoken head of Ireland's budget airline said that he doesn't understand why the Hungarian government has imposed an extra profit tax on airlines when they have suffered record losses throughout the past year due to the coronavirus outbreak and the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Nagy also wrote:

“I wish the airline would respond as quickly as it did this time when Hungarian citizens contact them with customer complaints. Let's hope that they do not treat passengers' problems with such arrogance, although the experience is that their established practice is not very empathetic.”

“We do not understand the double standards. If Ryanair pays the same tax in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and France, for example, without any problems and in compliance with the law – and does not report any problems with this – then why do they find fault with the Hungarian procedure?" – the minister wrote, adding: “It is perfectly understandable that a multinational company wants to protect profits and not Hungarian families. But we expect everyone to behave fairly and lawfully – including Ryanair. And anyone who does not will be dealt with by the Hungarian authorities."

In early June, the Irish low-cost airline sent a letter to its passengers traveling after 1 July, stating that since Hungary introduced a new tax on airlines, there will be an increase in the price of already purchased tickets. The so-called “excess profit tax” will be charged to passengers in the value of 3900 Forints in case of traveling within the EU and 9750 Forints in case of other destinations.

Ryanair has said that the imposition of this tax on the airlines is “more than misguided, ill-timed and ill-considered”, since they have suffered record losses in the past year due to the Covid pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war.


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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.