A Ryanair plane was seized by France
Credit Ralph Orlowski REUTERS
10 November, 2018, 12:16
Ryanair was reportedly paid French subsidies that were later deemed to be illegal.
The European Comission later ruled the deal had been illegal and ordered Ryanair to pay back the cash.
The authority did not specify the amount owed by Ryanair.
The Boeing 737 was close to take-off when a bailiff declared it seized on the tarmac and sealed the aircraft.
The passengers eventually took off five hours late on another Ryanair aircraft.
"By this action, the government reaffirms its intention to guarantee the conditions of fair competition between airlines and between airports", it said. One passenger told The Associated Press that airport authorities told them there "was an issue with the plane".
It was "regrettable" that the passengers on board the plane had to wait five hours before being able to take off from the Bordeaux-Merignac airport in another Ryanair aircraft, the civil aviation body added.
The airline has now entered negotiations with the department over how to repay more than €500,000 at the centre of the dispute, regional newspaper Charente Libre reports.
In reality, Ryanair's plane was seized because of overdue bills.
'Just because we manage a little airport in Charente it doesn't mean we are not going to defend ourselves'.
French aviation agency spokesman Eric Heraud said regional authorities who originally gave the subsidies had been trying since 2014 to recover the money, and sent its final legal warning in May.
'The plane will remain stationary until the debt is paid'.
The airline uses Boeing 737-800 planes, which cost £78.4 million each when new.
"We will investigate whether regional and local authorities in Germany, against the rules, gave an unfair advantage to Ryanair over its competitors", European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
The stoppages contributed to a 7% fall in profits to €1.2bn (£1.06bn) for the six months to 30 September.
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