EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has called into question the airline’s planned fleet expansion.
In a detailed letter released this morning, he demanded that the budget carrier cut the size of the fleet.
Sir Stelios accused easyJet directors of having an “incestuous” relationship with Airbus and called for “proper and transparent tenders” to be issued to allow other aircraft manufacturers to compete for the company’s business.
“The fact that the profits per aircraft are half what they used to be and the list price of the aircraft that the company is now buying has doubled means that the returns are on average about one quarter of what they used to be,” he said.
“In reality it actually means that each additional aircraft is now destroying shareholder value and diluting the returns of the original order.”
Sir Stelios added: “It is time for the company to stop buying aircraft until the full facts are disclosed to shareholders and shareholders’ consent is obtained.
“The board should stop pursuing a strategy of increasing the size of the fleet that has led to a halving of the profits after tax of each aircraft and the doubling of first half losses until the shareholders have approved the purchase of any new aircraft.”
He also criticised the board over an order for 35-aircraft order dated January 4.
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