Haji-Ioannou is meeting this week with some of the airline’s largest shareholders, including Schroders, Standard Life and Capital Research, in a bid to rally more support from investors to stop the airline’s growth plans.
The move by Haji-Ioannou, who owns 38 per cent of the airline, came after he tendered his resignation from easyJet’s board at the end of last week.
Haji-Ioannou said easyJet’s plans “don’t make sense”.
At the heart of the clashes between the airline and Haji-Ioannou is an initiative to increase easyJet’s fleet in the medium term by 7.5 per cent a year, something the board agreed to in June last year.
Of Haji-Ioannou’s decision to step down from the board, chairman Sir Michael Rake said: “I regret and am surprised at Stelios’ decision to resign from the board.”
Haji-Ioannou, who was joined by easyGroup board member Bob Rothenberg, told the board that he wanted to “gain greater freedom to exercise easyGroup’s rights as a shareholder company to seek a change in the company’s strategy”.
The two are set to square off in court early next month over a branding dispute, that could see easyJet forced to ditch its name and logo.
It is expected to end in the autumn.
FAST FACTS | EASYJET FLEET PLANS
● Over the medium term, grow the fleet by 7.5 per cent a year.
● Existing plans to purchase 52 Airbus aircraft.
● Plans to expand European short-haul market share to 10 per cent.