Easyjet’s founder and majority shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has called for a ceasefire in the long-standing feud with the airline’s management.
The Greek-Cypriot entrepreneur was one of the many shareholders to vote in favour of an order for new Airbus planes during today’s shareholder meeting, sources told the Financial Times.
The purchase – which was later confirmed by the plane maker – consists of 56 A320neo as well as the upsizing of 18 A320neo into A321neo.
The deal’s total value is said to be around $6.5bn but the airline argued it had received a “substantial reduction” on the price.
“We’re pleased with the strong support that shareholders have shown today by approving the resolution,” said chair Stephen Hester.
The fleet’s renewal has been a reason for contention for almost 10 years, as the entrepreneur – who quit Easyjet’s board in 2010 – opposed the deal with Airbus in 2013.
In addition to vehemently rejecting the proposal, Haji-Ioannou tried to get rid of several executives including chief executive Johan Lundgren, but to no avail.
In 2020 he warned he would sue senior management, calling them “scoundrels” and accusing them of “squandering shareholders’ money.”
The olive branch comes at a delicate moment for the low-cost carrier, which is one of the airlines that was hit the hardest by the ongoing travel chaos.
Easyjet – which was forced to cancel 2.8 per cent of its 2022 flights – made the headlines earlier this month when its chief operating officer Peter Bellew stepped down after two and a half years.