The French seized the Ryanair plane for a series in a new problem for the airline.
The French Civil Aviation Authority set up Boeing 737 on Thursday at Bordeaux before it needed to fly to Stansted with 149 passengers.
He said the move was "the last resort".
The dispute was caused by French subsidies paid to Rianair for flights from Anguleme regional airport in the period from 2008 to 2009, which the European Commission later considered illegal.
The French Civil Aviation Agency did not say how much money was invested, but regional airport officials said the amount was 525,000 euros (£ 457,000).
The authority said the plane "will remain immobilized until the amount is paid".
"It's sad that the state had to take such action, which led to the inevitable discomfort of 149 passengers on board an immobilized aircraft," the French Civil Aviation Authority said.
"These passengers managed to reach their destination later that evening on another Rianair plane, but with five hours of delay."
The latest is a series of concerns for Ryanair, who recently faced a series of strikes by pilots and cabin crew throughout Europe.
But in spite of flight cancellations, Ryanair recorded a 11% increase in turnover in October, while transporting 13.1 million passengers.
Stopping contributed to a 7% fall in profit to 1.2 billion euros (six billion pounds) for six months to 30 September.