Ryanair plane seized by French authorities, forcing 149 passengers to disembark

French authorities have seized a Ryanair plane and forced 149 passengers to disembark due to a dispute over subsidies to the airline.

The country’s civil aviation authority announced on Friday it had impounded the plane on the tarmac of the Bordeaux-Merignac airport as a “last resort”.

In a statement, civil aviation officials said France had repeatedly tried to get Ryanair to pay back regional funds paid to the airline in 2008-2009.

The European Commission later ruled those funds illegal, saying they gave Ryanair an unfair economic advantage. 

The aviation authority called it “regrettable that the state was forced” to evacuate the plane Thursday. It said the passengers were put on another Ryanair flight five hours later. 

Ryanair did not publicly comment on the seizure. 

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