EasyJet fleet still expanding too quickly: Haji-Ioannou

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EasyJet's founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has reiterated his discomfort with the expansion plans of the budget airline, following its disclosure of first-half losses.

Haji-Ioannou, who openly challenged EasyJet's board about the issue last year, is warning that the airline is still developing too quickly, and introducing too much capacity, during a poor economic climate.

EasyJet is scheduled to take delivery of 91 Airbus aircraft in the four years to 2013 but a spokesman for Haji-Ioannou says that this backlog is the "biggest single issue facing the company" and one which requires a "significantly more conservative" approach.

"In simple terms, EasyJet has too many aircraft," he says. "The company currently plans to buy too many new aircraft from Airbus, too soon, and the passenger numbers are not keeping up with the aircraft numbers."

He adds that Haji-Ioannou supports postponement of deliveries. EasyJet is due to take 17 more aircraft this year, 27 in 2010, 24 in 2011, 21 in 2012 and the remaining pair in 2013.