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easyjet boss johan lundgren to step down in 2025 after seven years at the helm

Easyjet boss Johan Lundgren to step down in 2025 after seven years at the helm

Budget airline easyJet has announced that its chief executive Johan Lundgren will be stepping down in 2025. Having taken the reins in December 2017, Lundgren is set to pass the baton to chief financial officer Kenton Jarvis early next year, who joined the company in February 2021. The news comes as easyJet reported a reduced pre-tax loss of £350million for the half-year ending March 31, improving on last year’s £411million loss, and anticipates a robust profit surge for the full year ahead. Sir Stephen Hester, easyJet’s chairman, said: “We are sad that Johan will retire from easyJet.” He praised Lundgren’s leadership, particularly during the tumultuous Covid period, and his role in establishing a solid strategic direction for the airline. Hester also showed confidence in Lundgren’s successor, stating that Jarvis has “impressed since joining easyJet in 2021, is fully bought in to the plan and will hit the ground running”. Reflecting on his time at easyJet, Lundgren remarked: “There are important things still to accomplish over the balance of the year, but when the time comes I will leave easyJet with a great sense of loyalty and of pride at the progress made and the potential the company has for the future.” Despite a £40m blow from the Israel -Hamas conflict, which led to suspended flights to Israel and Jordan and dampened demand for trips to Egypt after the conflict’s October onset, EasyJet successfully trimmed its half-year losses. The airline profited from an early Easter, helping to mitigate the first half impact when typically, seasonal demands result in winter losses and summer profits for airlines. EasyJet reported a three-fold increase in pre-tax profits to £31m at its package holiday division in interim results and is forecasting full-year profits at the rapidly growing division to surge by roughly 40% to more than £170m. In the first half of the year, easyJet boosted its flight programme by 12% and witnessed a 11% rise in passengers flown, serving 36.7 million customers. The airline stated: “Other than the suspension of flights in response to the Middle East conflict, disruption in the first half of the year was considerably improved compared to the first half of 2023, which saw widespread industrial action impacting air traffic control and other flight services.” EasyJet confirmed its booking numbers are on target for the peak summer period, with around 77% of its third quarter schedule sold and approximately 39% of the peak period already sold out. However, the company did flag that fuel costs leapt 18% higher to £914m in the half-year period and warned that the “price of jet fuel remains high due to global demand, and supply instability from geopolitical events”. Lundgren added: “We are now absolutely focused on another record summer which is expected to deliver strong full-year earnings growth.”

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