Ryanair Flight Canceled After French Government Impounds Plane

A Ryanair flight was canceled last week when French aviation authorities impounded the plane as it was preparing to take off with 149 passengers onboard.

According to BBC.com, an order from the Directorate General for Civil Aviation called for the flight taking off from Bordeaux on a trip to London to be grounded and the plane impounded until Ryanair paid the French government an outstanding balance of $610,000.

The $1.1 million bill was for regional subsidies on Ryanair flights made between 2008 and 2009, but the carrier had failed to pay around half of the debt. In order to get the plane back, the carrier paid France the remaining sum Friday.

“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,” French aviation officials told BBC. “Those passengers were able to eventually reach their destination later that evening on another Ryanair plane, but with a five-hour delay.”

The plane impounding debacle is just the latest in a series of public relations problems facing Ryanair recently, including the airline being criticized for not throwing a racist passenger off a flight and a series of strikes that resulted in delays and cancellations.

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