France seizes Ryanair plane over unpaid state aid

Postado Novembro 09, 2018

Villat added he expected Ryanair to pay the remaining sum by the end of Friday.

But the French government said Ryanair had only paid back half the money, so it seized the plane and demanded the balance.

It was not immediately clear how much money French authorities were trying to reclaim from Ryanair.

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

"It is unfortunate that the state had to take such action, which led to the inevitable inconvenience of the 149 passengers on board the immobilised plane", the statement continued.

DGAC said 149 passengers were put on another flight on Thursday evening and arrived at their destination five hours late.

The EU Commission in 2014 ruled that subsidies Ryanair received from a regional authority a decade ago had to be repaid, but the airline had not complied despite repeated warnings, it said.

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

Regional newspaper Charente Libre reported that the airline owes the regional authority 525,000 euros ($595,000), the paper said on its website.

The airline uses Boeing 737-800 planes, which cost £78.4 million each when new.

The pan-European stoppages prompted the airline to cut its profit forecast, but it still expects to make profits after tax of 1.10-1.20 billion euros in its current financial year.

MailOnline has requested a comment from Ryanair.