EasyJet has branded founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s efforts to oust several key figures at the airline over a multi-billion pound aircraft order an "unnecessary distraction" at a time of "unprecedented challenge" for the airline sector owing to the coronavirus crisis.
Sir Stelios, whose family remains easyJet’s largest shareholder with around a 34% stake in the business, is calling for the carrier’s £4.5 billion order with Airbus for a further 107 aircraft to be cancelled to preserve cash.
Earlier this month, Sir Stelios sought a general meeting of the board, which has been convened for 22 May.
Ahead of the meeting, shareholders will vote on Sir Stelios’s proposals to remove easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren; chairman John Barton; chief financial officer Andrew Findlay and independent non-executive director Andreas Bierworth.
However, the easyJet board has unanimously recommended shareholders vote against Sir Stelios’s resolutions.