French authorities ground Ryanair plane over cash row

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Didier Villat, president of Syndicat Mixte Des Aeroports De Charente (Charente airport union), said Ryanair had reimbursed half the figure given to the Irish company by regional authorities but that €525,000 remained.

The plane, bound for London's Stansted airport, was grounded yesterday.

The aviation authority called it "regrettable that the state was forced" to evacuate the plane on Thursday.

"They were able to be re-routed to their destination the same evening by another flight from Ryanair with a five-hour delay".

'By this action, the government reaffirms its intention to guarantee the conditions of fair competition between airlines and between airports, ' it said.

The EU Commission in 2014 ruled that subsidies Ryanair received from a regional authority had to be repaid, but the airline had not complied despite repeated warnings.

An appeal against the judgement was rejected by the tribunal administratif in the summer.

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Just under 24 hours later, the no-frills airline relented and paid up, authorities said Friday, allowing it to reclaim its aircraft.

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

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

It is the latest in a series of setbacks for Ryanair, which has recently faced a series of strikes by pilots and cabin crew across Europe.

MailOnline has requested a comment from Ryanair.

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

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