Just under 24 hours later, the no-frills airline relented and paid up, authorities said Friday, allowing it to reclaim its aircraft.
Ryanair passengers exhausted of forking out for everything from a baby's seat belt to checking-in could be forgiven a wry smile after one of its planes was seized in Bordeaux in a row over cash.
French aviation authorities have seized a Ryanair plane bound for London, stranding almost 150 passengers.
The French civil aviation authority seized the aircraft on Thursday at Bordeaux airport ahead of its planned flight to London Stansted, the latest episode in a string of troubles for the low-priced Irish carrier.
The standoff with French authorities will not help Ryanair, which more than most carriers, has come to symbolize budget airlines' relentless focus on the bottom line at the cost of customer service.
"By this action, the government reaffirms its intention to guarantee the conditions of fair competition between airlines and between airports".
Passengers aboard a plane headed to London this week were ordered to evacuate by French authorities after it was revealed that the carrier owed a substantial amount of money from 2014.
The airline uses Boeing 737-800 planes, which cost £78.4 million each when new.
"They were able to be re-routed to their destination the same evening by another flight from Ryanair with a five-hour delay".
The French civil aviation authority said it was over a dispute about illegal subsidies paid to the Irish airline in 2008-2009.
Last month, European Union anti-trust authorities opened an investigation into whether Ryanair benefited from measures at a German airport that give the Irish low-priced carrier an unfair leg-up over competitors.
The stoppages contributed to a 7% fall in profits to €1.2bn (£1.06bn) for the six months to 30 September.