Ryanair passengers STRANDED as plane SEIZED by authorities over UNPAID debt

Kenny Grant
November 10, 2018

A bailiff seized a Ryanair aeroplane at Bordeaux airport, as part of a legal dispute between the airline and the conseil départemental of the Charente.

HuffPost UK has contacted Ryanair for comment.

Ryanair passengers exhausted of forking out for everything from a baby's seat belt to checking-in could be forgiven a wry smile after one of its planes was seized in Bordeaux in a row over cash.

The European commission ruled that about €1m of subsidies paid to Ryanair in return for it providing flights from Angoulême, 80 miles (130km) north-east of Bordeaux, to London between 2008 and 2009 were illegal.

A Ryanair plane was grounded and seized on Thursday in what French authorities are calling "a last resort" effort in an ongoing money dispute with the budget airline over government subsidies, according to the BBC. Charente officials claim that Ryanair owes them the equivalent of just over £450,000, having paid back half of the subsidies.

"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.

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

Passengers from the Thursday flight were put on another plane, which eventually took them to their destination at London's Stansted airport - five hours late.

Ryanair's fleet is made up mostly of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which have a list price of more than $90 million each.

In October, EU 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 is also fighting an order by Italian regulators to suspend a charge for carry-on bags.

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