A Ryanair aircraft at Bordeaux airport was today seized by French authorities as part of efforts to reclaim state aid paid to the carrier.
In a statement French aviation authority DGAC says it had to impound the Boeing 737 as part of efforts to reclaim subsidies paid to the low-cost carrier for flights from Angouleme airport between 2008 and 2009.
In 2014 the European Commission adjudged the subsidies constituted illegal state aid and ordered that the money be repaid. The ruling was contested by Ryanair. In 2015, the Commission referred the French state to the European Court of Justice, alleging failure to recover the money.
The DGAC says the decision to impound the aircraft was taken as a "last resort" after several formal notices and attempts to recover the money failed.
It says the aircraft will remain immobilised until an undisclosed sum is repaid. A subsequent local newswire report, citing a DGAC spokesman, say the aircraft will be released as the funds have now been paid.
The airline did not respond to a request for comment.