Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyjet founder, has claimed that £600m of government aid being spent on buying new planes “could be the biggest scandal in British corporate history”.
Haji-Ioannou has demanded that the easyjet board scrap a £4.5bn order for 107 new planes from Airbus, doing so would means there would be no need for the airline to draw on government funds to survive.
“The reason Andrew Findlay (finance chief) wants to borrow this £600m from the UK taxpayer is to pay a Franco-German arms manufacturer £2bn. This is a misuse of UK taxpayers’ money.” Haji-Ioannou said.
“Easyjet has a strong asset position and balance sheet,” Easyjet said. “Our efforts to secure funding now are being carefully weighed against the long-term financial health of the airline. The [Bank of England’s] Covid Corporate Finance Facility gives access to funds at the sort of commercial rates which were available before the coronavirus crisis. The board fully supports Andrew Findlay and stands by its collective decision to access the CCFF which was made in the best interests of the company“.