France frees Ryanair jet after tarmac standoff over subsidy

Gladys Abbott
November 12, 2018

The French civil aviation authority said Friday it had impounded the plane on the tarmac of the Bordeaux-Merignac airport as a "last resort".

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

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

The department had the support of France's civil aviation authority, the direction générale de l'aviation civile (DGAC), which said in the press release: "It is regrettable that the State was forced to take this measure, which caused unavoidable inconvenience for the 149 passengers of the immobilised aircraft".

The passengers eventually took off five hours late on another Ryanair aircraft. In 2014, however, the Commission acknowledged that the payment of these funds was illegal and thanks to her, the airline received an unfair economic advantage.

"By this action, the government reaffirms its intention to guarantee the conditions of fair competition between airlines and between airports". The plane was grounded owing to an issue regarding an unpaid debt.

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"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.

And last week ministers from five European governments warned Ryanair that it could face legal trouble if it ignores national labour laws after a series of strikes across the continent.

The stoppages contributed to a 7% fall in profits to €1.2bn (£1.06bn) for the six months to 30 September.

Ryanair is also fighting an order by Italian regulators to suspend a charge for carry-on bags.

Over 140 passengers were made to get off a Ryanair flight following a seizure by French authorities.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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