Michael O’Leary is to come to Budapest next week. He already announced that he would hold a press conference in a hotel. The omens are worrisome: when he was in Brussels this week, he said Ryanair would quit Brussels’ Zaventem Airport. The airline’s leader blamed a newly introduced flight tax he called “crazy and discriminatory”, and increased airport charges. At the beginning of September, Ryanair left Athens, blaming the Greek government and the airport’s operator.
Ryanair received a gigantic HUF 300 million fine from the Hungarian government. Furthermore, the CEO has been quarrelling with the Orbán administration since the introduction of Hungary’s departure tax. O’Leary is to arrive in Budapest next Tuesday from Brussels. There, he announced earlier this week that the Irish budget airline would leave the Brussels Airport.
Ryanair will take away his two aircraft from there by the end of 2022 and does not plan to return until March 2023 or until the “crazy and discriminatory” flight tax is abolished. As a result, ten flights per day will disappear from the airport. The airline decided earlier to close its base in Athens until next March, blaming the Greek government and the airport’s operator.
Ryanair uses blackmailing techniques, Hans Elsen, the secretary of the Belgian ACV Puls trade union, said. He added that the Irish airline is worried because of its endangered business model. The Greek government said that despite the harsh communication, in practice, Ryanair only takes its planes away while its routes to and from Athens remain.
Világgazdaság writes that a similar decision regarding Budapest and Hungary cannot be excluded. And not only because O’Leary scorned the Hungarian government’s departure tax with similar words.
The Irish airline opened its base in Budapest in February 2012, after the bankruptcy of Malév. This February, Ryanair said it would like to expand its fleet in Budapest to eight planes by investing USD 200 million. That would have meant 240 additional workspaces. However, in August, Ryanair announced that it would stop operation on eight of its Budapest routes due to the Hungarian departure tax.
Ryanair is to reduce its Budapest flights on seven routes this winter season in response to the Hungarian government’s recently introduced extra profit tax, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary announced in Budapest. Details HERE.
Source: Világgazdaság, DNH