Passengers stranded as London-bound Ryanair plane is seized by France

Lloyd Doyle
November 9, 2018

All 149 passengers were forced to disembark as the plane was impounded at Bordeaux-Merignac airport on Thursday as a "last resort".

The French civil aviation authority said it was "regrettable that the state was forced" to seize the plane, but that it took the measure because the low-priced airline had repeatedly ignored demands to repay subsidies a regional government handed to Ryanair.

The authority did not specify the amount owed by Ryanair.

The 149 passengers due to get on the plane for a flight to London Stansted endured a five-hour delay before another Ryanair craft arrived to take them to their destination.

The European Commission in October also opened an investigation into whether Ryanair had benefited from illegal state aid at Germany's Frankfurt-Hahn airport, and this week Italy's competition agency opened a probe against Ryanair's new hand luggage policies.

DGAC said it the plane "will remain immobilized until the sum is paid".

The aviation authority called it "regrettable that the state was forced" to evacuate the plane.

French airport official Didier Villat told Sud Ouest newspaper: 'To my knowledge it's the first time a Ryanair plane has been seized in this way.

But the French government said Ryanair had only paid back half the money, so it seized the plane and demanded the balance. Ryanair's fleet is made up mainly of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which have a list price of more than $90 million each.

It is the latest in a series of setbacks for Ryanair, which has recently faced a series of strikes by pilots and cabin crew across Europe.

MailOnline has requested a comment from Ryanair.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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