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Easyjet shareholders have voted in favour of the airline’s order for new Airbus aircraft despite opposition from founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
The no-frills carrier announced the order for 135 new aircraft last month and it was approved by shareholders at a general meeting held today (July 11) at the Easyjet headquarters at Luton airport. There were 193.7 million votes (57.3 per cent) in favour of the aircraft deal with 144.1 million votes (42.7 per cent) against the proposal.
The approval came despite Haji-Ioannou, who is still Easyjet’s largest shareholder, vowing to vote against the order. The entrepreneur, who set up the airline in 1995, has claimed that the aircraft order was “a good deal for Airbus and a bad deal for Easyjet shareholders”.
Easyjet chairman John Barton said: “The vote in favour of our new fleet arrangements will allow Easyjet to continue its successful strategy of modest, profitable growth and sustainable returns for our shareholders.”
The airline has ordered a total of 135 Airbus A320 including 35 current A320 aircraft for delivery between 2015 and 2017, as well as 100 new generation A320 Neo aircraft , which can carry up to 180 passengers and will be received from 2017 to 2022.
The new order has a list price of $11.9 billion but Easyjet said it had been given a "substantial discount" by Airbus, although it gave no further details.