LONDON – Over the past few weeks, one of Europe’s largest LCCs Ryanair, has released some announcements that have been primarily related to its operations within Hungary.
Hungary Winter 22/23 Schedule
As part of their new winter schedule for the upcoming season, Ryanair has announced the addition of one new route from its base at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD).
The new route will connect the Hungarian capital to the Spanish Canary Island airport of Lanzarote, specifically César Manrique-Lanzarote Airport (ACE), which is also known as Arrecife Airport.
This new service will be operated on a once-per-week basis and will be flown by Ryanair’s all-Boeing 737 fleet.
The addition of the new Lanzarote service will bring Ryanair’s winter offering for the upcoming season in Hungary to a total of 53 different destinations for passengers to choose from.
Commenting on the new Hungarian route, Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness, has said, “As Europe’s No.1 airline, Ryanair is delighted to announce our Winter ’22/23 schedule for Hungary with 53 routes to popular destinations across Europe, including the new route to/from Lanzarote.”
“Although this schedule offers plenty of choices, demand is growing swiftly, so customers should book their Winter ’22/23 getaways early to ensure the lowest possible fares.”
Ryanair Criticises the Hungarian Government
Over the past couple of weeks, Ryanair has heavily criticized the Hungarian government over its new changes in the aviation sector whereby it would impose an “extra profits” tax on airlines per departing passenger.
On June 8, Ryanair released its initial statement regarding this matter, calling the Hungarian Government’s latest change “beyond stupid” for making this “unjustified” decision.
Effective from July 1, the Hungarian Government will charge between €10 and €25 per departing passenger to each airline that operates in and out of its airports.
The carrier has said that it is beyond stupid that the Hungarian Government is imposing an “extra profits” tax on an airline industry where currently profits are non-existent for most carriers in the wake of the pandemic and the latest ongoing invasion from Russia in Ukraine.
They have also pointed out that this “unjustified tax” will have an irreparable damaging effect on the Hungarian tourism sector as well as its economy and jobs.
Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness, also added his comments to this saying, “The illogical decision of the Hungarian Government to introduce an “extra profits” tax on airlines (who are loss-making due to Covid and the Russian invasion of Ukraine) is badly timed and badly designed.
This tax on non-existent profits is damaging for the Hungarian economy, the restoration of connectivity and tourism jobs.”
In line with this and more recently, on June 14, Ryanair has now called on Hungarian Minister Nagy to explain why airlines, who have all reported record financial losses recently, are going to suffer from an “excess profits” tax.
As part of this, Ryanair is pointing out three statements to the Minister regarding this. Those three statements are –
- Airlines are being levied an excess profits ‘tax’, to ‘protect Hungarian families’, when airlines are reporting record losses due to Covid and the Ukraine invasion.
- Why are Hungarian families and visitors being asked to pay higher fares when air travel to/from Hungary has suffered two years of Covid and Ukraine losses?
- How does raising taxes on air travel ‘help’ Hungarian families?
Adding his thoughts to this bizarre taxation, Ryanair Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Leary, has said, “One can understand why the Hungarians might impose an excess profits tax on the oil and gas sectors, who are making windfall profits as a result of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
“But to extend this ‘excess profits tax to a loss-making industry like air travel, which is struggling to recover from two years of Covid, and the more recent impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows that Minister Nagy has forgotten his economics.”
“We will be sending him a new booklet ‘Economics for Dummies’, which we hope he will study so he can now explain why an ‘excess profits tax is being imposed on a loss-making industry like airlines.”
“These taxes cannot be borne by loss-making airlines, hard-pressed passengers or their families, and will therefore lead to a dramatic fall in air traffic in Hungary at a time when Hungary’s tourism sector is preparing for post-Covid recovery.”
“At a time when many other EU countries are lowering taxes and fees to recover traffic, tourism, and jobs, the Hungarian Government is doing the opposite by making air travel to/from Hungary more expensive and less competitive, which will damage Hungarian air traffic, tourism, and jobs recovery.”
“We call on Minister Nagy to reverse this idiotic ‘excess profits tax, or at least confine it to industries like oil or gas who are making windfall profits, and not airlines who are reporting record losses.”