easyJet seeks new home and new CEO

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 17, 2017 12:48

easyJet seeks new home and new CEO

Fresh from announcing it has chosen Austria as its new European home, easyJet has now announced the departure of chief executive Carolyn McCall.

McCall has advised the Board of her intention to leave easyJet in order to become CEO of ITV plc.  She is expected to leave easyJet around the end of the year.  In the meantime, Carolyn will continue with her existing responsibilities. easyJet says that the search for her successor has already begun.

Commenting on the announcement, John Barton, easyJet Chairman, said today: “Carolyn built and led the management team that has transformed easyJet’s performance in every respect since 2010,” he said. “She put easyJet’s passengers and people at the heart of the business.  Having first built a solid operational performance, she redefined the customer experience not just at easyJet but across short-haul Europe and has seen both the number and loyalty of easyJet’s passengers grow as a result.

“This has led to sustained and continuing financial success which has been shared with shareholders with a more than trebling of easyJet’s share price and the payment of £1.2 billion in dividends.

“She will leave easyJet well set for future success.  Her successor will inherit a leadership team of strength and depth, engaged people and loyal passengers flying on Europe’s best network.

“I speak for absolutely everyone at easyJet in saying we will be sorry to see Carolyn leave and that we wish her well in her exciting new role.”

Carolyn McCall said: “This was a really difficult decision for me to make. I have had an amazing seven years at easyJet, I am so proud of what the airline and its people have achieved in that period.

“After seven years, the opportunity from ITV felt like the right one to take. It is a fantastic company in a dynamic and stimulating sector.

“easyJet is a structural winner in a brilliant position, and I look forward to being a loyal customer in the years to come.

“I will always miss easyJet and most of all I will miss easyJet’s people whose Orange Spirit helps them do their best to make travel easy and affordable for their customers every day.”

easyJet’s Third Quarter trading update will be issued on Thursday 20 July.  easyJet expects to report that an improving revenue per seat trend, as outlined in the half year results in May, has been supported by strong third quarter load factors, as well as the continued reduction in market capacity growth and a significant benefit from the move of Easter to April.

Full year cost per seat at constant currency expectations remain in line with guidance reflecting continued strong cost control with planned investments in resilience to support the delivery of improved operational performance during the summer months. Operational performance for the quarter has improved as the investment in resilience has delivered improved on time performance across the network.

Last week, easyJet also gave an update on its application for a European Air Operator Certificate (AOC) with Austro Control and to Austria’s Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) for an airline operating licence. easyJet confirmed that the accreditation process is now well advanced and easyJet hopes to receive the AOC and licence in the near future.

Once received, the new AOG and licence will allow easyJet to establish a new airline, easyJet Europe, which will be headquartered in Vienna and will enable easyJet to continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the UK has left the EU (regardless of the outcome of talks on a future UK-EU aviation agreement).

The people and planes that will fly for easyJet Europe are already employed and based in EU27 countries.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 17, 2017 12:48