Ex Tui exec Lundgren hired to steer easyjet’s course
LOW-COST airline easyjet has hired former Tui director Johan Lundgren to lead the carrier just weeks before outgoing chief Dame Carolyn Mccall leaves.
Mr Lundgren has worked at tour operator Tui for the past 12 years in various roles including group deputy chief executive officer. He will join easyjet on December 1. Dame Carolyn, who is returning to her media roots by taking the top spot at ITV, will remain at easyjet until the end of the year as part of an agreed transition period.
The hire comes at an important time for the carrier, which recently applied for an Austrian air operator certificate, to ensure it can continue flying intraeuropean routes even if there is the bleakest of Brexit outcomes. It has been operating within a faltering European airline industry in which three carriers have collapsed this year.
The Luton-based airline gained a dominant position in Berlin after securing a €40m (£35.3m) deal to acquire part of Air Berlin’s operations at the German capital’s Tegel Airport. It will lease up to 25 A320 aircraft and the requisite take-off and landing slots from its stricken German rival, which fell into administration in August after its backer, Etihad, refused to continue to fund operations, having injected €250m four months before its collapse.
It is also in the running for part of stricken Italian carrier Alitalia, but the outcome of the bidding process is not expected to be clear until next year.
John Barton, easyjet chairman, thanked Dame Carolyn for “all she has done” during her near seven-year tenure at the carrier and said Mr Lundgren’s “proven experience in European travel” over a 30-year career would be an asset for the company.
Shares in easyjet have risen by more than 150pc since Dame Carolyn moved from the Guardian Media Group to join the airline in 2010. They closed up 5p at £12.75.