Ryanair pays ¤525,000 to get impounded aircraft back
Ryanair has paid ¤525,000 in subsidies to French authorities to end a tarmac standoff that forced 149 passengers to disembark from an impounded plane.
The French civil aviation authority said it had seized the plane at Bordeaux-Merignac airport as a “last resort” after France repeatedly tried to get Ryanair to pay back regional funds to the airline.
In July 2014, the European Commission ordered Ryanair to repay ¤868,000 in state aid to Angeloume Airport in France. The airline subsequently vowed to appeal that and several other similar rulings made at the same time.
The European Commission said the funds gave Ryanair an unfair economic advantage. The aviation authority called it “regrettable that the state was forced” to evacuate the plane on Thursday.
It said the passengers were put on another Ryanair flight five hours later. Ryanair did not publicly comment on the seizure. Aviation authority spokesman Eric Heraud said the airline had paid back the funds and the aircraft would be released.
This has been a turbulent autumn for the airline. In October, the airline warned on profits after a surge in oil prices and strikes. – AP