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ORBÁN: FLIGHT DELAYS 'UNACCEPTABLE'

 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has slammed the recent series of flight delays and cancellations as “unacceptable”, saying it was “impossible not to be outraged” by what was happening in the sector. “It’s not about whether or not air travel is well-organised, but that there’s not even the bare minimum of humanity,” Orbán told public radio. He added that most passengers had been working throughout the entire year to be able to use their savings to go on holiday, and this was “one of the important events of the year” for most Hungarian families. Orbán said passengers were not being shown “any humanity” by airlines when they were not kept informed about the situation and the long delays. He said what was happening at Liszt Ferenc International Airport was a consequence of the period before the state had re-acquired it, adding that he trusted that the situation would improve “when the actual physical takeover happens”. He said it was not just the airport’s operator that needed to do a better job, but also air traffic control and the ground crew. Orbán said the government expected staff and crew that interacted with Hungarians and tourists to show “more understanding and humanity”, adding that he had instructed his ministers to enforce those expectations.
On the topic of vehicle fuel prices, the prime minister said the government would not tolerate Hungarians having to pay more for fuel than the average price in neighbouring countries. Hungary’s vehicle fuel companies must honour the agreement they signed with the government, he said. “We can’t have prices keeping to the regional average for a while only to then slip out of that range,” Orbán said, adding that “this is what’s happening now”. He said that for now, the government was asking fuel companies “verbally” to keep to the agreement. “But we won’t say it twice. We have an agreement and it must be honoured. We tolerate Hungarians being made to pay more for fuel than what is the average price in neighbouring countries. And if this polite message doesn’t work, we’ll take steps.”