Skift Take

After seven years overseeing one of Europe’s biggest budget carriers, Lundgren is leaving the business in good shape.

EasyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren is stepping down. The company confirmed the move as it published its latest earnings on Thursday. 

Lundgren has been in post for seven years and is widely regarded as a safe pair of hands. He successfully navigated the European low-cost carrier through the COVID-19 crisis and developed its increasingly lucrative easyJet Holidays division.

The company says 15% of all departing seats from its new Birmingham base are now easyJet Holidays customers.

Although Lundgren is not leaving until early 2025, his replacement has already been named. He will be succeeded by Kenton Jarvis, the airline’s current CFO. Jarvis joined easyJet in 2021 and like Lundgren, spent much of his career at European travel giant TUI Group. 

EasyJet described the changes as “an orderly succession.” It confirmed that Kenton’s annual salary will be £800,000 ($1.01m) and “structured in line with the company’s existing policy for its CEO.”

The outgoing CEO did not give a reason for leaving the role.

A Continuity Figure

Speaking on Thursday, Lundgren said he will work closely with Jarvis “to achieve this year’s goals and hand over responsibilities smoothly”. 

While some analysts have suggested the CFO will be a continuity figure, it wasn’t enough to calm the markets. The London-listed stock was down around 5% in mid-morning trading. 

The shaky share price came despite easyJet posting a smaller pre-tax loss for the first half of its financial year. It lost £347 million ($439m) compared with £415m ($526m) a year earlier. Revenue grew 22% and the company said it is well positioned as it enters the all-important peak summer season. 

The company said the improvement “was driven by targeted capacity growth where demand was strongest, alongside productivity and utilization benefits.”

Other notable announcements from the all-Airbus operator included the opening of a new base at London Southend Airport next year. This is due to be operational by summer 2025 and will represent the airline’s 10th UK base.

Speaking to Skift in March, Lundgren refused to rule out the launch of operations at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Airlines Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of airline sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including network carriers, low-cost carriers, and other related companies.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more airlines sector financial performance

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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Tags: airbus, airlines, easyjet, european airlines, Johan Lundgren, low-cost carriers, tui

Photo credit: Johan Lundgren has been CEO of easyjet for seven years. EasyJet / EasyJet

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