France’s civil aviation authority has taken possession of a Boeing 737 from Ryanair following a financial dispute. The plane was seized at Bordeaux’s airport on Thursday, as it was preparing to depart the French city for London Stansted Airport (STN). This seizure was described as “a last resort”.
France’s civil aviation authority, La Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), has seized an aircraft from Ryanair as a consequence of a long-running financial dispute, the BBC reports.
The plane, a Boeing 737, was grounded and seized on Thursday just before its departure from Bordeaux—Mérignac Airport (BOD), the outlet reports. At the time it was seized, the plane was carrying 149 passengers and was bound for London Stansted Airport (STN).
According to the BBC, “The dispute was caused by French subsidies paid to Ryanair for flights from Angoulême regional airport between 2008 and 2009, which the European Commission later deemed illegal.”
In a statement shared via the DGAC’s Twitter feed and quoted in an English translation by the news outlet, the body 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. Those passengers were able to eventually reach their destination later that evening on another Ryanair plane, but with a five-hour delay.”
According to the BBC, the seizure of the plane was undertaken only as “a last resort”. The DGAC has declined to confirm the sum of money involved in the dispute, but regional French airport officials have indicated a figure of €525,000 ($595,251).
The DGAC has confirmed that the craft will remain in its possession until the sum is fully paid.
This seizure, the outlet reports, comes just a few months after the low-cost carrier was hit by labor and strike action by pilots and cabin crew around Europe.