Ryanair fine of €736,000 annulled by Metropolitan Court of Budapest

June 02. 2023. – 09:57 AM



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In a press release, Ryanair welcomed the fact that the Metropolitan Court of Budapest annulled the €736,000 fine imposed on the airline in August last year, hvg.hu reports.

The fine of about 300 million forints – which followed the bickering with the Hungarian government – was imposed on Ryanair by the Consumer Protection Authority after the company indicated that from July 2022, the extra tax of 10 euros per passenger was added in full to the price of their tickets.

The company has now noted that they were fined at a time when the company was still massively loss-making due to Covid. They have since reported record profits. Ryanair said in the statement that the annulment of the "absurd and politically motivated fine" confirms that the company has the right to freely set the price of its tickets.

According to the court ruling, the competent government agency justified the imposition of the fine on the grounds that Ryanair was not entitled to pass on the tax on air travel because it is not the airline but the ground handling company that is subject to it under the regulation. However, the Court found that it was the airline that was subject to the tax and that it was therefore entitled to communicate this to its passengers, i.e. that it had not misled them, contrary to the decision of the consumer protection authority. The ruling means that Ryanair will not have to pay the 300 million forint fine.

The CEO of the Irish airline and the Hungarian government have been up in arms since the introduction of the extra profit tax last year. Although the government has threatened airlines not to dare to pass the tax on to their passengers, Ryanair, known for its cheap tickets, has done so, and a communications war broke out between O'Leary and members of the government.

Ryanair also lodged a constitutional complaint last July, claiming that the government's passenger tax, known as an "extra profit tax", violates the right to a proportionate sharing of the public burden. The complaint was rejected by the Constitutional Court at the end of April this year. Although the "extra profit tax" has since been converted by the government into an "environmental tax", Ryanair has retained the price of the passenger tax in the price of its tickets.

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