The outgoing chief executive of easyJet is expected to leave the airline she has navigated for seven years with a £5m pay-off as it unveils another fall in profits.
Carolyn McCall, who will present her final results on Tuesday, owns more than 328,000 shares, valued at £4.2m and she will also be paid a basic salary of £705,600 for 2017.
The airline’s shares have nearly trebled under her watch as the company gained a dominant position at key UK and European airports but profits have taken a knock recently. It has taken a hit from the bitter aviation price war caused by a glut of seats across the industry.
Liberum transport analyst Gerald Khoo expects adjusted pre-tax profits of £410m in the 2017 financial year, down a fifth compared to the same time last year. Consensus expectations predict earnings to recover in 2018 and 2019 though, partly as easyJet becomes an industry consolidator through its moves, orchestrated by Dame Carolyn, to snap up parts of stricken rivals Air Berlin and Alitalia.
It has been helped by the collapse of Monarch, a competitor on some of its key routes. It has also benefited from a catastrophic public reactions disaster at arch-rival Ryanair, which had to cancel 2,100 flights due to a rostering debacle and then another 18,000 winter flights subsequently. British Airways has had a tough year too, following a series of computer meltdowns.
Dame Carolyn joins ITV as chief executive in January and will be replaced at easyJet by Johan Lundgren, deputy chief executive officer at tour operator Tui. EasyJet declined to comment.