Hungarian government launches investigation against second airline

Budapest, Hungary — The Hungarian government has ordered an investigation into domestic low-cost airline Wizz Air over what it calls possible violations of consumer protection laws, the second investigation it has launched against an airline since June.

The investigation, commissioned by the Hungarian Ministry of Justice, comes after the ministry said it has received an increase in complaints against the Budapest-based airline for failing to provide information and assistance to customers whose flights have been delayed or cancelled. according to the Hungarian state news agency MTI. .

Other complaints included Wizz Air not providing accommodation and rebooking for affected passengers, failing to respond to consumer complaints within 30 days and operating a paid customer service line, in violation of Hungarian law and consumer rights, the ministry said in a statement.

It is the second investigation against an airline launched by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist government since June, when it announced it would impose windfall gains on industries, from banking to insurance, on airlines that have made “extra profit” as a result of rising demand after the pandemic – a claim some companies have disputed.

Earlier this month, Hungary accused budget airline Ryanair of consumer protection violations and fined more than three-quarters of a million euros after the company raised ticket prices to deal with the new tax, which Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said. “highway robbery”. ‘ and ‘idiot’.

The government hopes to raise 815 billion forints ($2.1 billion) from tax policy to help the country through a period of soaring inflation and energy prices, and budget deficits from pre-election alms earlier this year, which saw Orban serve a fourth consecutive term. won.

Wizz Air did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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In a statement, the Justice Department said the aim of the proceedings is to “detect, stop and punish any possible illegal behavior, as all companies must comply with the law.”

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