Ryanair has lost its case taken against its outgoing chief operations officer, Peter Bellew.
The High Court has dismissed the action aimed at preventing him from joining rival airline, EasyJet, next month.
In a judgement lasting less than five minutes, Mr Justice Senan Allen dismissed the case - ruling the non-compete clause preventing former employees from working in a rival business was not binding this case.
Ryanair asked the High Court to prevent Mr Bellew from joining EasyJet as chief operations officer next month.
It said he had agreed, as part of a share option deal, not to work for any rival for 12 months.
The eight day hearing heard he left the company in July and he felt he was a "dead man walking" after a March performance review.
Judge Allen said the restraint on employment in any capacity had not been shown to be justifiable.
Mr Bellew was in court and left afterwards without giving a reaction.
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary was not present in court.
Main image: Peter Bellew is pictured at a Ryanair press conference in Germany in August 2018 | Image: Frank Rumpenhorst/DPA/PA Images