Nearly 150 passengers were stranded after the London-bound flight was commandeered at Bordeaux Airport on Thursday. A row over French subsidies Ryanair was paid for flights from Angouleme airport in the Charente region between 2008 and 2009 was blamed for the Boeing 737’s seizure. The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) grounded the Boeing 737 with 149 passengers, claiming it was a “last resort”.
The European Commission later ruled around £873,000 (€1million)in subsidies paid to Ryanair were illegal and ordered the Irish carrier to repay all the money.
Following the commission’s 2014 ruling that the payments gave Ryanair an unfair advantage, around half the subsidies were repaid.
A bailiff seized the Boeing 737 as it was on the airport tarmac preparing for take off.
The budget airline’s plane would remain grounded “until the sum is paid”, France’s aviation authority said.
Another plane was arranged for passengers, who arrived in London five hours late.
"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 French civil aviation authority said.