Stelios tries to shoot down £8bn easyJet deal with Airbus for dozens of new planes


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The Independent Online

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet, is hoping to use his 37 per cent stake in the group to vote down its plan to buy 135 new planes.

Sir Stelios, pictured, who has been an outspoken critic of the company's management team in recent years, said he opposed the deal but expected it to be approved by other shareholders at an investor meeting on 11 July.

EasyJet plans to buy 35 A320 aircraft and 100 new A320neo jets – with options on 100 additional A320neos – in a deal worth almost £8bn.

The company says the new aircraft will replace ageing jets and will lead to significant cost savings. However, Sir Stelios does not agree.

In an open letter yesterday, he said: "As the person with the most to gain if this company increases profitability and the most to lose if the outcome from this order is not as promised by the board, it is my firm opinion that this is a good deal for Airbus and a bad deal for easyJet shareholders.

"I am not against replacing aircraft that have reached the end of their economic life. However I am against buying aircraft that are three times more expensive than the ones I bought with my own money in the early 2000s."