Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) appears to have lost an appeal it lodged in Hungary last year against a consumer protection fine of HUF300 million forints (USD871,000), the Magyar Távirati Iroda (MTI) news agency reported the country’s justice ministry as saying.

The Budapest Court of Appeal ruled against the low-cost carrier’s bid to overturn the fine, which had been levied for passing on to consumers the cost of a windfall profit tax, the news source said. The airline has also appealed to the courts of the European Union against what it calls the “baseless fine”.

In a Facebook post, Nóra Kupecki, deputy minister of state for consumer protection at the Ministry of Justice, elaborated that “the court decided the airline will not receive immediate legal protection” but that “the fine is not yet legal, so we await the court’s next decision.”

She added: “We promised that in the case of passing on the extra-profit special tax we would launch a consumer protection investigation in every case, because the economic situation created as a result of sanctioned inflation requires that any multinational company that gains extra profit must take its share of the costs of overhead protection and national defence! In Hungary, the laws apply to everyone, even if some feel exempt from it.”

Ryanair has repeatedly demanded that the nationalist government of Viktor Orbán scrap the tax placed on airlines of EUR10 to EUR25 (USD10.90-27.30) per passenger departing Hungary starting from July 2022. The measure targets “extra profits” earned by airlines, as well as banks, insurers, energy and telecoms companies, and large retail chains, promising to use the funds to compensate consumers for inflation blamed on the war in Ukraine and to fund further defence spending.

Ryanair did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ch-aviation.