EasyJet defers purchase of 24 Airbus planes amid pressure from founder


EasyJet has deferred the purchase of 24 Airbus aircraft following pressure from founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

The airline announced that the measure will be implemented over the three financial years up to 2022.

Dates for when the aircraft will be delivered “are to be agreed in response to the demand environment”, according to the Luton-based carrier.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “Our industry is facing unprecedented challenges which require unprecedented action.

“As we have consistently said, we remain completely focused on improving short-term liquidity and reducing expenditure across the business.

“Today I am pleased to announce that we have agreed with Airbus to amend our delivery schedule by deferring the purchase of 24 aircraft.”

Mr Lundgren said the move would provide “a significant boost” to cash flow and a “vast reduction” in its capital expenditure.

He added that the airline has a further 24 aircraft leases up for renewal over the next 16 months, giving it “another level of flexibility to respond to future demand”.

Sir Stelios, who holds the biggest stake in easyJet, recently warned the budget airline will “run out of money by around August” as he called for it to cancel a £4.5 billion order with Airbus.

EasyJet grounded all of its planes after demand for flights collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.