Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Ryanair passengers were unable to board a plane when it was impounded because subsidies were owed to French authorities.
The jet was released Friday after Ryanair, a low-coast carrier headquarted in Ireland, paid a bill of $610,000 -- one day after the incident.
The 149 passengers were preparing to take off for a flight from Bordeaux-Merignac airport in western France to London late Thursday when French authorities ordered their Ryanair Boeing 737 impounded. They had already gone through passport control and security and were about to walk on the tarmac to board the plane when airport authorities told them to turn around.
They were put on another flight and arrived at London's Stansted airport five hours late.
The Independent reported passengers were given vouchers for a meal and drink, and no luggage was boarded onto the plane.
The plane had flown normally from Stansted to Bordeaux on Thursday afternoon.
The aviation authority said it was "regrettable that the state was forced" to evacuate the plane but it a "last resort" after repeatedly trying to get the airline to return regional funds given to the airline in 2008 and 2009. The European Commission had ruled those funds were illegal because they gave Ryanair an unfair economic advantage.
The payments were for flights from Angouleme, 80 miles northeast of Bordeaux, to London.
The French government said Ryanair had only paid back half the money.
Ryanair is Europe's Number 1 airline, carrying over 130 million customers on more than 2,000 daily flights from 86 bases in 37 countries, according to its website.