EasyJet chief paid almost £3m despite airline’s £208m loss

Johan Lundgren gets rise of about 273% from 2021, when he received no bonus because of Covid pandemic

The boss of easyJet was paid almost £3m in 2022, in the year when the airline made a £208m loss and cancelled thousands of flights because of staffing and other problems.

The easyJet chief executive, Johan Lundgren, received a £1.2m annual bonus and £925,000 in shares on top of his £833,000 fixed salary and benefits.

The total package represented a pay rise of about 273% from 2021, when no bonus was paid during the Covid pandemic.

A similar percentage rise was awarded to the easyJet chief financial officer, Kenton Jarvis, whose total annual pay rose to £2.2m, after he joined midway through 2021.

Lundgren’s bumper pay comes in a year when airlines are still recovering from the pandemic, with international travel restricted at the start of 2022 by the Omicron variant.

EasyJet cancelled waves of flights in the spring and summer because of labour shortages, weather disruption and IT glitches but stabilised its schedules in the peak holiday period.

The airline cut its losses from just over £1bn in 2021 with high demand and lower capacity driving high revenues in the summer, although not enough to return it to profit.

A spokesperson said 94% of easyJet employees had received a bonus, but not staff in France, where unions rejected such payouts in a deal to avoid job cuts.

Lundgren received 81% of his available bonus by hitting targets set by the remuneration committee including reaching the customer satisfaction threshold, with a reduction of 2.5% because of the cancellations.

While Lundgren could earn an even bigger bonus next year, the airline will only increase his basic salary and benefits by 5.4%.

The chair of easyJet’s remuneration committee, Moni Mannings, said it “recognised the broader considerations for restraint” but that there was an average 6% rise across the wider employee base and the airline was balancing these considerations.

The salary was revealed in the airline’s annual report, in which Lundgren said easyJet was now “well placed to drive returns and margins while maintaining a rigorous focus on cost”.

A spokesperson said: “EasyJet, under Johan’s leadership, has managed a billion-pound turnaround this year and has met the stringent bonus targets set down by its remuneration committee.”

Bonuses to other staff included a £1,000 payment to crew in October, and they added: “We will continue to look at any more ways we can help our people.”

Contributor

Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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