The High Court has withdrawn a ban on reporting a reference to Ryanair's profit after tax target for its 2020 financial year contained in a 2018 share option scheme after the airline said the order was not needed. 

A lawyer representing former Ryanair chief operating officer Peter Bellew last Thursday asked chief executive Michael O'Leary if it was accurate that a 2018 share option scheme contained a profit-after-tax target for the 12 months to March 2020 of €1.75 billion. 

Michael O'Leary replied that the information was commercially sensitive and should not be released to the court. 

His lawyer then asked the judge to impose a ban on reporting the figure, which was lifted today. 

"I will vacate the order," said Judge Senan Allen. 

Ryanair, which has been forced to cut its passenger growth rate due to delays in the delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX, on November 4 said it expected to post profit after tax of between €800-900m in its 2020 financial year.

Last week, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has told the High Court he was "taken aback" when the airline's COO Peter Bellew informed him that he was joining rival airline Easyjet.  

Mr O'Leary said last July Mr Bellew informed him that he was resigning from his role as Ryanair's Cheif Operations Officer, citing lack of sleep and stress, and "would probably go travelling". 

Several days later Mr O'Leary said Mr Bellew informed him that he was joining Easyjet as its COO in early 2020 having served out a six month notice period. 

Mr O'Leary said that it was not possible for Mr Bellew to go to Easyjet given the 12-month non-compete clause. 

He said if he was joining an airline that was not operating in the low fare sector or outside of Europe that Ryanair probably would not be seeking to enforce the clause.