Johan, you have extensive experience from the travel industry. As the CEO of easyJet, what is your view of the future of the industry?
I believe this is a fantastic and dynamic industry. However, European aviation remains quite fragmented so I believe more consolidation will happen. The airlines with the strongest business models will do well and the weak will continue to struggle to compete, or even disappear.
easyJet flies more than 90 million passengers to more than 34 countries - how has easyJet managed to keep growing?
easyJet has a well-established business model that provides a strong foundation to drive profitable growth and long-term, sustainable shareholder returns. We are able to attract more passengers who are increasingly loyal to us due to our great value fares that we are famous for. We also have an unrivalled European network and schedule which means that we can fly people where they want to fly at times they want to fly, and all with fantastic prices and the warmest welcome in the sky.
As CEO of easyJet, what will be your focus moving forward?
I am focused on many things, including our key areas of strategic focus like our new holidays company, how to encourage even more loyalty from our 90 million customers, and our focus on data, as I want easyJet to become the most data driven airline in the world. But equally climate change is an issue I think everyone in the industry will have to tackle. In the short-term we are focused on being as efficient as we can by having modern and fuel-efficient planes, by flying them in ways which reduce noise and by flying them full of passengers. But in the longterm, I don’t believe this will be enough. Aviation will have to reinvent itself, and in my view move to electric and hybrid planes powered by renewable energy which we are working on with industry partners.
All these things help to reduce carbon emissions. People have a choice in how they travel, and many more people are now thinking about the potential carbon impact of different types of transport. If people choose to fly, we want to be one of the best choices they can make. We’ve reduced our carbon emissions by over 32% since 2000 and our aim is to continue bringing the number down further.
With over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry, Johan Lundgren joined easyJet on 1 December 2017 as Chief Executive Officer. On 7 May we had the exclusive opportunity to meet him for an interactive discussion, chaired by Nik Gowing, at restaurant Aquavit in Central London.