EasyJet Airbus order approved despite Stelios opposition

EasyJet Airbus order approved despite Stelios opposition

EasyJet shareholders yesterday rejected opposition from founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou to fleet renewal plans.

The carrier said that 57.3% of shareholder votes cast at a general meeting backed the multi-billion-pound order for 135 Airbus aircraft, despite opposition from Sir Stelios whose family controls almost 37% of EasyJet.

About 85% of the airline’s shareholders cast their votes at the meeting at its Luton headquarters.

Just 43% of votes were cast against the plans to expand the fleet. That was short of the 50% level needed in order to overturn the plans.

Airbus confirmed after the vote that EasyJet had firmed up the purchase of the 135 Airbus A320 family aircraft.

The airline unveiled the order last month for 35 current generation A320s for delivery between 2015 and 2017 and 100 new generation A320neos from 2017 until 2022.

Chairman John Barton said: “The vote in favour of our new fleet arrangements will allow easyJet to continue its successful strategy of modest, profitable growth and sustainable returns for our shareholders.”

Sir Stelios had written to shareholders, arguing that the Airbus order was a “bad deal” owing to the high cost.

The airline said at the time it had negotiated “very substantial” discounts on the combined list price of $11.9 billion.

Industry sources told the AFP news agency that EasyJet may end up paying only half the amount. There is also an option to buy a further 100 Airbus aircraft as part of the deal.


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