Irish aviation executive Peter Bellew has resigned from Easyjet two and half years after he left Ryanair to join the British airline in a move that ended up at the High Court in Dublin.
In a stock market announcement on Monday EasyJet said that Peter Bellew has resigned as chief operating officer (COO) with effect from July 1st to pursue other business opportunities.
"The Board would like to thank Peter for his hard work over the last two and half years and wishes him well in his future endeavours.”
In 2019 Ryanair launched a legal action against Peter Bellew citing a 12 month non compete clause after he left the airline to join Easyjet.
However, in an important legal decision for labour law the court in Dublin found the non-compete clause in the contract was too broadly drawn to be enforceable.
Finding for Peter Bellew, Justice Senan Allen told the court that the non-compete clause in Mr Bellew's contract was "void and unenforceable as an unjustified restraint of trade".
The judge said Mr Bellew had "freely agreed" to the contract's terms and he was "not unfairly or unreasonably treated" by Ryanair during his time employed there.
However, the judge said the broad nature of the non-compete clause "would prevent the defendant (Mr Bellew) from taking up employment with any European airline, including the legacy carriers, and so goes beyond what the plaintiff (Ryanair) has shown to be justified".
Bellew had left his previous role as CEO of Malaysia Airlines two years earlier to return to Ryanair, where he had been director of flight operations before leaving in 2014.
Now he’s moving on again. On Monday, Easyjet said David Morgan has been appointed to lead the operations function as interim COO, reporting directly into CEO Johan Lundgren.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented:
“I would like to thank Peter for his hard work and wish him well. Everyone at easyJet remains absolutely focused on delivering a safe and reliable operation this summer.