EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has given the airline’s board a month to put expansion plans on hold.
The Greek-born entrepreneur resigned from the easyJet board on Friday and announced he would be seeking shareholder support to force the management to adopt a new strategy.
He is reported to be concerned the directors will be buying new Airbus planes on top of the 88 aircraft currently on order.
Haji-Ioannou, who himself and through family members controls 38% of the shares, has decided to give the board until next month before talking to fellow shareholders.
He believes the airline should focus on maximising profit and paying a dividend at the present time rather than expanding. An easyJet spokesman said: “The board unanimously agreed last summer the company’s strategym, including the size of its fleet.
“No future decisions will be taken on this before the new management starts.”
Carolyn McCall and Chris Kennedy are due to start as chief executive and chief financial officer in July. The company’s value fell by more than £100 million yesterday with shares falling 24p to 391p.