Ryanair is to cancel eight routes and cut flights on a further seven from its Budapest (BUD) base this winter, citing a “bizarre” tax imposed by Hungary’s government.
The airline was last week fined more than $750,000 for raising prices in response to the “extra profits” tax that was imposed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s cabinet in June. The tax has been levied on a range of industries, which the government says have enjoyed increased profits during the recovery from the pandemic.
The airline tax, which came into effect from July 1, costs departing passengers between €10 ($10.20) and €25 each when leaving Hungary. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said the introduction of the tax was “stupid and illogical.”
The eight routes Ryanair is cutting from Budapest during the northern winter 2022/23 season are: Bordeaux (BOD), Bournemouth (BOH), Cologne (CGN), Kaunas (KUN), Krakow (KRK), Lappeenranta (LPP), Riga (RIX) and Turin (TRN).
“These routes and flights will be switched to other lower cost neighbouring countries like Slovakia, Austria, Croatia and Romania, none of which have any idiotic ‘excess profits’ tax on loss-making airlines,” O’Leary said.
“All Hungarian passengers affected by these route closures and frequency cuts from November will receive email notifications in the coming days, offering them full refunds or alternative flights.”