easyJet founder voices fears over future of the airline

The founder of Luton-based easyJet has warned the budget airline will "run out of money by around August", as he renewed calls to cancel a £4.5 billion order with Airbus.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou also called on the company to remove chief financeofficer Andrew Findlay, saying it would be "the best way to stop him writing billion-pound cheques plus to Airbus every year".

It comes days after the businessman, who holds the biggest stake in easyJet, requisitioned a meeting of the company's shareholders to decide whether to remove another director from the board - a move rejected by easyJet.

Last week the airline grounded all of its planes asdemand for flights collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren has indicated that the airline would consider accepting Government bailout loans if needed.

But Sir Stelios has said it will not need Government loans if it terminates thecontract with Airbus.

He also stressed that he will not invest any further cash into the airlinewhile the contract with the plane manufacturer is in place.

In a statement Sir Stelios said:

An easyJet spokesman said: "The board is managing the unprecedented challenges facing the airline and the aviation sector as a whole."We remain absolutely focused on short-term liquidity, removing expenditurefrom the business alongside safeguarding jobs and ensuring the long-term future of the airline."We believe that holding a general meeting would be an unhelpful distractionfrom tackling the many immediate issues our business faces."