Former Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) executive Nick Rohrlach will have to wait a few more months before starting his new job at Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) after the state carrier won a last-minute injunction in the Singapore High Court against him leaving.

Rohrlach, the former co-chief executive officer of Jetstar Japan (GK, Tokyo Narita), accepted a senior role at Qantas Loyalty in October 2020 but shortly after took the chief executive role at Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer.

The decision by the Singapore High Court is a breakthrough for Qantas because it earlier had lost two previous cases to hold the hearing in Australia rather than in Singapore, whose courts traditionally favour employees.

It means Rohrlach will remain on gardening leave until a final hearing takes place regarding his appointment, likely to be in June or July, reports Australian Aviation.

Virgin had wanted him to start on May 3, 2021, but Qantas wants to postpone his commencement until September 18 because it is worried he will exploit Qantas's trade secrets in his new role.

Qantas had lost an appeal in the NSW Supreme Court in March to hear the case in Australia.

Rohrlach had signed the contract with Qantas in Singapore in 2015, and also applied for anti-suit protection there to stop Qantas from enforcing the extended start date.

Qantas had argued that the case should be held in Australia because subsequent agreements nullified another clause in the contract to only allow legal action to take place in Singapore. It also argued holding it in Australia would be more convenient to all parties.