Ryanair will appeal against a court ruling that would allow passengers six years to claim money back from the airline if their flight is delayed.
The Manchester County Court earlier today ruled that the low-cost airline could not impose a two year limit on passengers making a claim for flight delay compensation.
The legal challenge was brought by two passengers, known as Goel and Trivedi, who had both missed the two year window imposed by Ryanair.
The ruling sets a precedent for delayed European Union passengers on all airlines.
Ryanair said in a statement:
We note this ruling which reverses Lower Court orders that a 2 year time limit for claims is reasonable.
Since we believe a 6 year time limit for submitting such claims is both unnecessary and unreasonable, we have instructed our lawyers to immediately appeal this ruling.
Last year the Supreme Court ruled delayed passengers in England and Wales have six years to claim. However, Ryanair said passengers who choose to fly with them accept their terms and conditions, including the two year claim period.
The ruling at Manchester County Court today effectively said Ryanair could not use this clause to impose a two year limit.
Bott & Company, the legal firm representing the two passengers who brought the claim against Ryanair, said:
As Goel and Trivedi v Ryanair is a test case, it is likely that all other flight compensation claims in England and Wales across will now follow the decision. As such, the ruling stands to benefit approximately 2.66m Ryanair passengers - around £610m in compensation.
The airline however said less than one per cent of Ryanair flights are delayed over three hours, and more than 90 per cent of passengers make a valid claim within a two year window, so there is only a tiny potential group of customers who may wish to submit a claim between two and six years after the date of their flight.
Ryanair added: “Accordingly, Ryanair estimates that even if its appeal in this matter is ultimately unsuccessful, its potential liability will not be material and is likely to be less than €5m (£3.62).”
Ryanair shares are trading 3.19 per cent down on the news.