French authorities ground Ryanair plane over cash row

Marco Green
November 9, 2018

A Ryanair plane has been seized by French authorities in a row over money in the latest problem for the airline.

The authority did not specify the amount owed by Ryanair.

"Those passengers were able to eventually reach their destination later that evening on another Ryanair plane, but with a five-hour delay".

It said the move was "a last resort". "By this act, the State reaffirms its desire to guarantee the conditions for fair competition between airlines and between airports". The European Commission ruled in 2014 that aid was illegal and ordered the airline to reimburse the department.

"It is unfortunate that the state had to take such action, which led to the inevitable inconvenience of the 149 passengers on board", the aviation authority said.

Regional newspaper Charente Libre reported that the airline owes the regional authority 525,000 euros ($595,000), the paper said on its website.

But aviation authority spokesman Eric Heraud said Ryanair had paid back the funds and the plane would be released.

The aircraft was grounded at 6pm on Thursday, November 8, when the bailiff, with a mandate from the conseil départemental presented himself at Bordeaux and took legal control of the aircraft - which had been scheduled to fly to London Stansted - on the tarmac.

'The plane will remain stationary until the debt is paid'.

Last month, European Union anti-trust authorities opened an investigation into whether Ryanair benefited from measures at a German airport that give the Irish low-priced carrier an unfair leg-up over competitors.

Ryanair did not publicly comment on the seizure.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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