BUDGET airline Ryanair could be set to pay out up to £60 million in compensation to holidaymakers over upcoming cancelled flights.

The Dublin-based airline has been forced to axe 2,024 flights from September 18 to October 28, affecting an estimated 400,000 passengers.

The vast number of flight cancellations has been attributed to 140 Ryanair pilots defecting to rival airline Norwegian in 2017 leading to pilot shortages.

Further problems were caused by pilots being forbidden from using their holiday allowance over the busy summer period.

Many staff were forced to use holiday quotas in the autumn and unbreakable EU rules on Flight Time Limitations restricted pilots who were still available.

Ryanair has announced flights departing and arriving from Malaga Airport are to be affected and you can see the full list of cancellations here.

Coby Benson, Flight Delay Legal Manager at Bott & Co, said passengers should be aware of the full amount of compensation they are entitled to under European Union law if their flight has been cancelled.

“As these circumstances were within Ryanair’s control they will have to bear the cost of this mistake and pay passengers compensation of up to €600, where their flights were cancelled with less than 14 days notice,” he said.

A full guide surrounding claiming compensation from EU laws for cancelled flights can be viewed here.

Michael O´Leary, Ryanair CEO said, “This is a mess of our own making. I apologise sincerely to all our customers for any worry or concern this has caused them over the past weekend,” he said.

However, with an estimated £500 million wiped off its market value and its reputation amongst customers undergoing major turbulence – it remains to be seen whether Ryanair can recover from this corporate nosedive.

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