France impounds Ryanair plane on tarmac before take-off

Irving Hamilton
November 9, 2018

The European Commission in October also opened an investigation into whether Ryanair had benefited from illegal state aid at Germany's Frankfurt-Hahn airport, and this week Italy's competition agency opened a probe against Ryanair's new hand luggage policies.

The Boeing 737 was close to take-off when a bailiff declared it seized on the tarmac and sealed the aircraft.

"Those passengers were able to eventually reach their destination later that evening on another Ryanair plane, but with a five-hour delay".

The airline has now entered negotiations with the department over how to repay more than €500,000 at the centre of the dispute, regional newspaper Charente Libre reports.

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".

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The bomb squad is on the scene. "The investigation is ongoing... there are no known links to terrorism at this stage". Bourke Street is now blocked between Swanston and Russell streets, and people are being advised to avoid the area.

'Just because we manage a little airport in Charente it doesn't mean we are not going to defend ourselves'.

French authorities yesterday grounded a Ryanair plane at Bordeaux airport in a dispute over money they say the airline owes.

Last month, European Union anti-trust authorities opened an investigation into whether Ryanair benefited from measures at a German airport that give the Irish low-priced carrier an unfair leg-up over competitors.

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

Ryanair did not publicly comment on the seizure.

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