A Ryanair aircraft was grounded by France’s civil aviation authority yesterday over a financial dispute.

The authority said the aircraft was held at Bordeaux-Mérignac airport in a bid to force Ryanair to reimburse the public support it reportedly received from the mixed airport union of the Charentev in 2008 and 2009.

This aid was declared illegal by the European Commission in July 2014.

The aviation authority said the measure was a “last resort” after sending several formal notices and failing to recover funds.

Directorate General for Civil Aviation has confirmed the aircraft will remain immobilised until the unspecified sum is repaid.

The aircrafts 149 passengers were rerouted to their destination yesterday same evening on another Ryanair flight.

A spokesman for the Directorate General for Civil Aviation said in a statement: “It is unfortunate that the State was forced to carry out this measure, which caused inevitable inconveniences for the 149 passengers of the immobilised aircraft.”

Ryanair has been contacted for comment.