Ruling on Ryanair bid to delay COO's easyJet move set for next week

FILE PHOTO: Peter Bellew, former Chief Operating Officer of Ryanair, leaves the Four Courts in Dublin after the opening day of Ryanair's High Court Action to prevent him from joining its competitor Easyjet as COO in January, Dublin, Ireland December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan

DUBLIN (Reuters) - An Irish High Court judge hopes to rule next week on whether Ryanair RYA.I can prevent its operations chief Peter Bellew from joining arch-rival easyJet EZJ.L until 2021.

Ryanair has argued that Bellew possesses information of competitive value and that he is bound by a non-compete clause.

Former Malaysia Airlines boss Bellew denies he is subject to the clause and plans to start working with the British airline at the start of 2020 after completing a six-month notice period.

The court hearings have included assessments of Bellew’s performance and an allegation, rejected by Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary, that he was bullied.

Judge Senan Allen said on Friday he would endeavour to make his judgement by Dec. 20 but that if he could not, he would hand it down on Dec. 23.

Reporting by Conor Humphries, editing by Padraic Halpin and Alexander Smith