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Changes at the top for easyJet

Johan Lundgren has announced that he will step down as CEO of easyJet at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by Kent Jarvis, the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

Lungren, with a background in the travel trade took over from businesswomen Carolyn McCall (who always sought a higher profile). His tenure has included Covid, and on the plus side the introduction of larger and more environmentally friendly aircraft.  A running battle with founder and large minority shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, on the future direction of the airline is now seen a stalemate with the current board still very much in charge.  

The change was announced as the airline reported first-half losses had narrowed amid capacity growth and growing profits at its holidays business, with summer demand shaping up strongly as consumers continue to prioritise travel. It also restored dividend payments to shareholders.

The company cut first-half losses by £61m to £350m, which came as revenue leapt by 22% to £3.27bn. Revenue rose on the back of an increase in flown capacity, pricing strength, and ancillary products including easyJet holidays, which reported a 210% rise in profit to £31m as customer numbers rose by 42%. The holidays division is expected to deliver profits before tax in excess of £170m this year.

Lundgren was bullish as he made the announcement: “Our two newest bases, Alicante and Birmingham, are achieving passenger numbers well above the network average and we have announced a tenth UK base at London Southend from next March, continuing the growth of our leisure network in the UK where easyJet holidays plays an increasingly important role.

“We are now absolutely focused on another record summer which is expected to deliver strong FY24 earnings growth and are on track to achieve our medium-term targets”.


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