After seven years at the helm of one of Europe’s largest low-cost airlines, easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren has announced that he is to step down in 2025. Lundgren will be replaced by the carrier’s current Chief Financial Officer, Kenton Jarvis.

“Johan is expected to step down from the board and as chief executive on 1 January 2025,” read an easyJet announcement to the London Stock Exchange (on which easyJet shares are listed) on May 16, 2024. “[Lundgren] will remain with the business until the conclusion of his notice period on 16 May 2025”. Upon the announcement being made. the carrier’s share price fell by almost 6%.

During his seven years in charge of the London-Luton Airport-based airline, Lundgren has steered the carrier through the UK leaving the European Union and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“I congratulate Kenton on being nominated my successor, it is fully deserved, and I will work closely with him and the whole executive team to achieve this year’s goals and hand over responsibilities smoothly at the end of the year,” said Lundgren. “There are important things still to accomplish over the balance of the year, but when the time comes I will leave easyJet with a great sense of loyalty and of pride at the progress made and the potential the company has for the future,”

“I am a huge believer in the future for our airline, which is powered by the talents and enthusiasm of our front-line staff,” said incoming CEO, Kenton Jarvis.

Meanwhile, easyJet ‘s Chairman, Sir Stephen Hester, praised Lundgren for “steering the company through the immense challenges of the COVID period”, as well as “setting up a clear strategy and strong execution plan towards its ambition of being Europe’s most loved airline”.

Financial update

The announcement of Lundgren’s exit from the airline came on the same day that the carrier revealed its half-year results for the period from October 2023 to March 2024. The airline lost £350m ($445m) in the northern winter period, although this figure represents a £61m ($77m) improvement over the same period in 2023.

This loss equates to approximately £9.50 ($12.06) for each of the 36.7 million passengers that traveled with the airline during that period. The airline achieved a 12% increase in overall capacity on a year-on-year basis.

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Looking ahead to the summer of 2024 (where European low-cost carriers traditionally make their profits), forward sales and fares for July, August, and September are ahead of 2023 levels.

“We are now absolutely focused on another record summer which is expected to deliver strong full-year earnings growth and are on track to achieve our medium-term targets,” said Lundgren.

London-Southend base is back

In other news from the carrier on May 16, 2025, easyJet announced that it will be re-opening a fully crewed operating base at London-Southend Airport (SEN) in March 2025. The move will see the airline revive a base that closed from the fallout of the pandemic in August 2020.

The move signals easyJet’s continued expansion in the UK, having launched a base at Birmingham International Airport in March 2024 as part of the airline’s strategy to take advantage of “key growth opportunities across its network”.

The new base will become easyJet’s tenth UK base and is expected to create around 130 job opportunities directly, plus many more indirect jobs as a result. Three 186-seat A320neo aircraft will be based at the airport initially, operating flights to several destinations including six new routes for the summer of 2025 (Pisa, Gran Canaria, Dalaman, Antalya, Marrakech, and Enfidha), with more to be announced “in the coming weeks”.

The airline already serves international routes from London-Southend to popular beach and city destinations Amsterdam, Geneva, Faro, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, and Paris Charles de Gaulle, and has handled over seven million customers since operations began from the airport in 2012.

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“We’re thrilled to welcome an easyJet base to London-Southend, supporting and creating hundreds of jobs locally as well as convenient, new, and returning connections to many popular leisure and city destinations,” said John Upton, CEO of London-Southend Airport. 

“This move is indicative of the demand from people in the east of London, Essex, and the wider East Anglia region who now have greater opportunities to choose to travel through our well-connected, quick and easy airport. easyJet passengers will start their holiday sooner at London-Southend as they relax and discover our award-winning terminal experience,” he added.

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Markus Mainka / Shutterstock

“We are delighted to be announcing another three-aircraft base in the UK, at London-Southend Airport,” commented Lundgren. “This will create hundreds of jobs and provide more choice for consumers with new routes and package holidays. 

“Our continued growth and investment in the UK highlight the importance of the market where this year we will operate more flying than ever before with our customers choosing our flights and holidays because of our trusted brand, unrivaled network, and great value fares.”

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