Ryanair is calling on the Competition and Markets Authority to enforce greater regulation over airline delay compensation claims chasing firms.

Europe’s largest budget carrier hit back at “ambulance chasers of the aviation industry” and urged passengers seeking valid compensation to deal with the airline directly.

Ryanair says consumers are being ripped off by firms charging up to 50% of the compensation they are entitled to.

The row was sparked by flight compensation firm EUClaim which accused a number of airlines of using “dirty tactics” to put passengers off making claims following flight delays or cancellations.

But the airline’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “Since Ryanair customers can claim this compensation directly from us, with no fees, these claims chasers provide no useful service whatsoever.

“Claims chasers don’t like our terms and conditions, because they are designed solely to protect our customers, and ensure they receive 100% of the compensation they are due.

“We call on the CMA to enforce greater regulation and we urge all customers with valid claims to avoid being ripped off by the ambulance chasers of the aviation industry and process their claims directly on the Ryanair.com website.”

Thomson also defended its position against the EUClaim allegations.

A spokesman said: “We would like to reassure customers that we operate a fair and thorough process to deal with compensation claims in line with the EU delay claims regulation.

“We continue to do everything possible to minimise delays and remain committed to maintaining an excellent on-time performance across our flying programme.

“We also believe that any money due to customers should go in its entirety to them, therefore we will not process any claims submitted via unregulated third party delay claim management companies, who routinely take a large percentage of the payment as commission.

“In this situation we invite customers to submit their claim directly to us to be processed.”