Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Ryanair plane seized by French authorities in cash row

France sends in bailiffs to seize Ryanair plane on tarmac at Bordeaux airport Ryanair has a plane SEIZED by French authorities to force the airline to repay illegal public aid
Russell Knight | 10 November, 2018, 04:55

France is demanding the Irish airline hand back money paid by the small airport of Angulema-Cognac to Ryanair between 2008 and 2009.

The Local has approached Ryanair for comment.

The Ryanair Boeing 737 was impounded and all 149 passengers were told to turn around and head back to the Bordeaux-Merignac airport in western France.

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 149 passengers were heading to London were already on board and had to disembark when the aircraft was seized on Thursday evening, the airport said.

A Ryanair plane has been seized by French authorities in a row over money in the latest problem for the airline. "By this act, the State reaffirms its desire to guarantee the conditions for fair competition between airlines and between airports".

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It was "regrettable" that passengers on board the plane had to wait five hours before being able to take off on another Ryanair aircraft, the civil aviation body added.

Ryanair owed €525,000 to the department that it had received in aid when the company operated an Angoulême-London route.

The plane was close to take-off when a bailiff declared it seized on the tarmac and sealed the aircraft.

The airline uses Boeing 737-800 planes, which cost £78.4 million each when new.

Ryanair has been hit by a number of setbacks in recent months, with pilots and cabin crews across Europe going on strike. Besides charging for seating choice and food - now standard practice on budget flights the world over - it also has travelers pay for any carry-on bag that's larger than a purse.

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