EasyJet's recently appointed chief executive Johan Lundgren has asked for his annual salary to be reduced so it matches the amount received by female predecessor Carolyn McCall.

To show what he described as a "personal commitment" to "equal pay and equal opportunity for women and men", Lundgren has requested that the low-cost carrier’s board cut his pay by £34,000 ($48,000) to £706,000.

EasyJet stresses that Lundgren's benefits aside from pay already matched those received by McCall.

The UK airline acknowledges that its gender pay gap – the difference in the average amounts earned by men and women across its business – is currently 52%.

It blames this, however, on an industry-wide dominance of men in pilot roles, rather than "unequal pay" for the same job functions.

"I want us not just to hit our target that 20% of our new pilots should be female by 2020 but to go further than this in the future," Lundgren says.

The former TUI Group executive made the decision to request a salary reduction amid a number of high-profile news stories in the UK regarding gender pay imbalance. Male presenters at the BBC – the UK state broadcaster – agreed to pay cuts after female employees highlighted significant remuneration differences for the same job function.

McCall left EasyJet at the end of 2017 to take up the chief executive role at UK broadcaster ITV.

According to a FlightGlobal survey, her departure leaves just two female chief executives at top-100 airline groups: Usanee Sangsingkaew is acting president of Thai Airways International, while Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is chief executive of VietJet Air.

Source: Cirium Dashboard