Ryanair passengers were left stranded for hours after their plane was grounded and seized by the French because of unpaid bills

  • Ryanair passengers experienced a surprise on Thursday when their flight was grounded, and the plane was impounded, in France because of an unpaid debt by Ryanair that left them delayed for up to five hours.
  • BBC reports the French civil aviation authority grounded the flight at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport as “a last resort” after a dispute over an unpaid debt of subsidies reached a sum of €525,000, or $US590,000 dollars.
  • The Independent reports the plane was impounded, and the passengers were delayed up to five hours at the Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport.
  • The French civil aviation authority told BBC, “It is unfortunate that the state had to take such action, which led to the inevitable inconvenience of the 149 passengers on board the immobilized plane.”

Ryanair passengers experienced a surprise on Thursday when their flight was grounded, and the plane was impounded, in France due to an unpaid debt by Ryanair that left them delayed for up to five hours, multiple sources have reported.

According to The Independent, Ryanair flight 1783, a Boeing 737, was scheduled to fly from Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport in France to the city of Stansted in the United Kingdom at 6 p.m. on Thursday with 149 passengers onboard.

But that did not end up happening. UPI reports Ryanair passengers, who had already gone through passport control and security, were about to pass through the tarmac to board the plane when they were told to turn around and head back to the gate.

BBC reports the French civil aviation authority grounded the flight at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport as “a last resort” after a dispute over an unpaid debt of subsidies reached the sum of €525,000, or $US590,000 dollars.


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According to BBC, the dispute of subsidies had to do with Ryanair’s use of Angoulême Airport in France in 2008 and 2009 and payments made to the airline, which were later ruled to be illegal by the European Commission in Brussels.

CNN reports a 2015 European Commission statement said, “France must now recover the incompatible aid from the companies that received it in order to restore the level playing field.”

UPI reports the payments were deemed illegal because “they gave Ryanair an unfair economic advantage.”

Ryanair did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The Independent reports the plane was impounded, and the passengers were delayed up to five hours at the Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport. After being given €5 vouchers by Ryanair, the passengers were forced to take a later flight to Stansted that arrived at 11:30 p.m.

BBC reports the French civil aviation authority said, “It is unfortunate that the state had to take such action, which led to the inevitable inconvenience of the 149 passengers on board the immobilized plane.”

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