149 passengers forced off plane when it’s impounded by French authorities

Credit: Leon Neal

Credit: Leon Neal

Passengers ready for takeoff Thursday were forced off a plane after French authorities impounded the aircraft over an overdue bill owed by carrier Ryanair.

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The Boeing 737, with 149 passengers going to London Stansted Airport was grounded by the French civil aviation authority in a move that was a "last resort," the BBC reported.

Ryanair owes the French government $610,000 for subsidies it received for flights between 2008 and 2009 that were later deemed illegal, the BBC reported. Ryanair paid the bill Friday, The Guardian reported.

"It is unfortunate that the state had to take such action, which led to the inevitable inconvenience of the 149 passengers on board the immobilised plane," the French civil aviation authority told the BBC.

After a five-hour delay, the passengers were able to reach their destination aboard a different Ryanair plane.

Ryanair did not comment, The Guardian reported.

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