EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou will meet Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary in court next month over claims that the Irish company defamed him.

Sir Stelios has accused O’Leary of calling him a liar by portraying him as Pinocchio in advertisements and issued a writ against the Irish boss and the airline for unlimited damages and an injunction to prevent future publication.

The court case has been set for July 20.

O’Leary is reported to have suggested a race around Trafalgar Square or a sumo bout to settle their differences.

The advert, which was shown earlier this year, shows Sir Stelios with an elongated nose, and questioned why easyJet was no longer publishing punctuality statistics.