Michael O'Leary and Ryanair today (July 15) "unreservedly apologised" to Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet, over adverts questioning the airline's punctuality statistics.
Sir Stelios's lawyer, Chris Scott told the High Court in London that the adverts "featured a picture of the claimant distorted so his nose was elongated in the style of the character Pinocchio and referred to him as ‘EasyJet - Mr Late Again'".
Scott said the adverts had appeared in two newspapers earlier this year.
"Now in July, Mr O'Leary and Ryanair accept that the advertisements should not have been published referring to Sir Stelios and have made a complete offer to settle his claim," Scott told the court.
Sir Stelios had begun a libel action against Ryanair after that airline refused to withdraw the adverts and apologise.
Instead Scott said it had suggested the two sides "should resolve the dispute by a sumo contest or by a race around Trafalgar Square".
In the statement to the court O'Leary, Ryanair's ceo, and the airline "unreservedly apologised" for the adverts "insofar as they related to him personally and suggested he was lying".
Ryanair agreed to pay Sir Stelios £51,100 in settlement of the libel case which he said he will give to his philanthropic foundation.
It also agreed to pay his courts costs and not to publish the adverts again.
The BBC quoted Sir Stelios as saying his victory was for all those "who have suffered verbal abuse at the hands of O'Leary".