Ryanair pays up to end standoff
RYANAIR has paid 525,000 euros (£457,000) in subsidies back 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 2008/09.
The European Commission later ruled those funds illegal, saying they gave Ryanair an unfair economic advantage.
The aviation authority called it “regrettable that the state was forced” to evacuate the plane on Thursday. Passengers were put on another flight five hours later. Ryanair did not comment. Aviation authority spokesman Eric Heraud said the airline had paid back the funds and the plane would be released.