Easyjet’s founder and largest shareholder has failed in his attempt to oust four directors including the carrier’s CEO and CFO, over an ongoing dispute regarding an Airbus aircraft order.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou had called for the removal of the group’s chairman John Barton, CEO Johan Lundgren, CFO Andrew Findlay and independent non-executive director Andreas Bierwirth.

The move was part of Stelios’ objective to force Easyjet to cancel a £4.5 billion Airbus order for 107 aircraft – last month the entrepreneur claimed that if the order was maintained the carrier would run out of money by August.

But Stelios lost today’s vote, with Easyjet stating that 99 per cent of votes cast by independent shareholders (ie: those cast by shareholders other than Stelios) were in support of the board.

Announcing the result chairman John Barton said:

“On behalf of the Board I would like to thank shareholders for their support. The airline industry is facing unprecedented challenges and the Board’s immediate priority has been to take the necessary steps to successfully guide Easyjet through this period of uncertainty.

“We are relentlessly focused on cash conservation and ensuring that Easyjet emerges from the Covid-19 crisis in a strong competitive position. The Board seeks good relationships with all of the Company’s shareholders and hopes to be able to re-engage constructively with Sir Stelios.”

Last month Easyjet secured a £600 million loan from the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, and also deferred delivery of at least 24 Airbus aircraft which it was due to receive over the next three years.

The carrier is planning to resume a limited number of flights from June 15, with an intial focus on domestic services within the UK and France.