In today’s update, easyJet founder and majority shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou ramps up his battle against the airline’s board and warns the carrier could be out of cash by August, Boeing suspends production in its Washington facility indefinitely to protect staff against COVID-19 and Rolls-Royce suspends guidance and its dividend.


easyJet could run out of money by summer, founder threatens to oust CFO

easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has warned that the airline could run out of money by August and is reported to have escalated his battle against the low-cost carrier’s board by threatening to oust its chief financial officer.

Sky News has reported that the low cost carrier’s founder, who owns a holding close to 34 per cent would seek to remove the easyJet’s Chief Financial Officer Andrew Findlay from the board along non-executive director Andreas Bierwirth.

The airline founder used his shareholding to requisition an extraordinary general meeting to last week to oust Mr Bierwirth. He also said he would repeat the move every seven weeks in an attempt to remove all non-executives from the board.

In a statement posted on the easyGroup website, Haji-Ioannou reiterated his earlier threat that he would inject any more money into easyJet’s shares unless it cancels a £4.5bn order for new aircraft from Airbus aircraft.

Haji-Ioannou wants to raise at least £600m for easyJet through a rights issue in which he has signalled a willingness to participate. He said: “If easyJet stumbles along whilst taking UK taxpayers’ money as loans only to pass it on to Airbus, it will have to raise fresh equity anyway in the next 3-6 months – reducing the value of our current shareholdings to close to zero.”

Rolls-Royce defers dividend to shore up finances

Rolls-Royce has announced that it is to scrap its targets and has decided against payment of its last dividend in order to safeguard the business.

With airlines grounding planes across the globe, the engine maker believes the measures will save £750 million. The trading update released to the markets this morning, said the company had halted all but essential work at its civil aerospace site in Sinfin and added that it would be reducing the salary of its global workforce by at least 10 per cent.

The salary of its senior managers and executive team will be cut by 20 per cent for the rest of 2020, comprising a 10 per cent reduction and a 10 per cent referral in pay.

Rolls-Royce will also reduce discretionary costs including non-critical capital expenditure projects, consulting, professional fees and sub-contractor costs. It will cease all non-essential travel and postpone external recruitment.

Airbus sites join together to produce 3D printed visor frames

Airbus’ sites in Spain have joined forces to produce 3D printed visor frames to provide healthcare personnel with protection equipment in the fight against Covid-19.

Airbus has more than twenty 3D printers working 24 hours a day and hundreds of the visors have been produced and dispatched to hospitals close to the Airbus facilities in Spain. Airbus has been using a patented design to manufacture the visor frames, using PLA plastics.

The majority of production at Airbus’ sites in Spain has been paused since March 29 as a result of the virus but Airbus employees are allowed on site to continue with this essential activity.

Airbus’ German facilities The Airbus Protospace Germany and the Airbus Composite Technology Centre (CTC), together with a 3D-printing network named “Mobility goes Additive,” is supporting the Spanish project.


Boeing suspends Washington operations

Boeing Co is to extend the suspension of production operations at its Washington state facilities until further notice.

The halt in production at its twin-aisle jetliner factory is a temporary measure to help fight the outbreak of the pandemic. Boeing has already announced a two-week stoppage at its Puget Sound facility near Seattle, where the long-range 777 jet and other models are produced. It had also shut its factory at Moses Lake as a result of the 737 Max grounding.

Boeing announced that the shutdown would continue indefinitely in an effort to protect staff from Covid-19, which has already claimed the life of one employee at the company’s Everett facility.

In a statement, Boeing’s commercial airplanes division president Stan Deal said: “The health and safety of our employees, their families and our communities is our shared priority,”

The company is seeking more than $60 billion in federal support in the wake of the crisis and announced voluntary redundancy or early retirement packages to employees last Thursday.

Gardner Aerospace reduces staff levels to achieve government safety guidelines

Component manufacturer Gardner Aerospace has announced a reduction of staffing levels at some sites to ensure employee safety while enabling customer support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures will be in place until April 14, enabling the company to protect employees in line with government guidelines and with customers who are implementing similar measures.

A statement from the company red: “We are however, still responding to customer requirements, operating as normal across many sites and continuing to ship product with little disruption. We would like to thank all our employees for their continued support during these unprecedented times.”