EasyJet founder and main shareholder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, want to have the current CEO, Johan Lundgren, and the current Non-Executive Chairman, John Barton, removed from their respective positions. Haji-Ioannou has recently been criticizing the airline for its response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the lack of cancellation of recent orders. In a statement issued by his investment group, he refers to those in charge as "scoundrels," and believes that the $1.9 billion order the airline placed for new Airbus jets as a "deliberate mistake." He described the current situation at Airbus as an "aircraft parking lot" and believes that bribery took place during the purchase of these aircraft.
Hajj-Ioannou expects the situation involving the massive drop in passenger demand due to the coronavirus pandemic to last for quite a while, and, with 337 aircraft currently grounded, EasyJet is in a tough place. He expects that even operating 250 aircraft in 2021 will cause great losses for the airline due to the reduced demand. If Haji-Ioannou is successful, he wants the current COO, Peter Bellew, to become the new CEO and terminate the order. EasyJet recently announced the deferral of the delivery of 24 aircraft from Airbus. The airline also does not expect to receive any aircraft during the 2021 financial year. The pandemic has been extra harsh towards budget airlines, which have large fleets and hundreds of destinations, and many LCCs are struggling to survive. Will EasyJet be able to make it through the 2020s?