Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannu, founder and largest single shareholder in easyJet, with 34% of the voting shares, has made it clear he won’t go along with the airlines existing plans.
With an order for some 150 A320neo family, and a plan to operate as many as 350 daily, he thinks the order is vastly too big and the ambition to operate 350 aircraft excessive. He wants the number down to 250 and to cancel the vast bulk of the Airbus order.
Having just grounded some 300+ aircraft the airline says it has £1.5 billion in cash and £500m in available credit, never mind the assets of its owned aircraft.
Sir Stelios however, has made it plain that if the airline doesn’t do what he wants, that he will spend every 7 week board meeting removing the company executive directors one at a time.
He says that the order with Airbus is £4.5 billion and the airline won’t be able to afford it following the inevitable recession post Covid19. He claims he would rather spend money fighting Airbus over the contract than pay for the aircraft, and that the airline should use the “force majeure” argument – that the situation is utterly beyond its control and that allows it to escape its contractual obligations.
Sir Stelios recently received £60 million in dividends from the past years operations, making the total he’s received in recent years around £640 million.