Ryanair plane seized by French authorities in row over unpaid bill

Roman Schwartz
November 12, 2018

Passengers aboard a plane headed to London this week were ordered to evacuate by French authorities after it was revealed that the carrier owed a substantial amount of money from 2014.

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.

French authorities have seized a Ryanair plane and forced 149 passengers to disembark because of a dispute over subsidies to the Irish airline.

"They were able to be re-routed to their destination the same evening by another flight from Ryanair with a five-hour delay".

Over 140 passengers were made to get off a Ryanair flight following a seizure by French authorities.

French authorities said on Friday they seized a Ryanair plane, forcing 149 London-bound passengers off the aircraft, to get the Irish low-priced airline to repay illegal public aid, the latest in a string of troubles for the carrier.

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It was not immediately clear how much money French authorities were trying to reclaim from Ryanair. "By this act, the State reaffirms its desire to guarantee the conditions for fair competition between airlines and between airports".

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.

"Just because we manage a little airport in Charente it doesn't mean we are not going to defend ourselves".

Profits fell seven per cent to £1.06 billion (€1.2 billion) in the six months to September 30.

Despite these problem the airline saw a 11 per cent rise in traffic in October with 13.1 million passengers flying across Europe.

Metro.co.uk has contacted Ryanair for comment.

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