EasyJet founder’s family sells small stake in airline

LONDON (Reuters) – The family of the founder of British airline easyJet sold a small stake in the company, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday, reducing the Haji-Ioannou family’s holding to 25.3% from 26.7%.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou founded easyJet in 1995, and along with family members remains its biggest shareholder, although their holding has reduced from around 34% last year due to a share sale and after a placing by the airline.

During the pandemic, Haji-Ioannou criticised easyJet’s strategy, calling on it to scrap a large order for new Airbus jets.

Shares in easyJet traded at 989 pence on Thursday morning. They remain well below their pre-pandemic level of around 1,500 pence, but they have risen 19% in the year to date on hopes for a recovery in air travel.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton)