New easyJet boss takes salary cut as airline reveals gender pay gap

The new easyJet chief executive, Johan Lundgren, has voluntarily taken a £34,000 pay cut to match the salary of his predecessor, Carolyn McCall.

The budget airline said Lundgren took the helm on 1 December on an annual salary of £740,000, but is now reducing it to the £706,000 McCall was on when she left last summer to take up the top job at ITV. Lungren’s bonus and other elements of his remuneration package are identical to McCall’s at the time.

Lundgren said: “At easyJet we are absolutely committed to giving equal pay and equal opportunity for women and men. I want that to apply to everybody at easyJet and to show my personal commitment I have asked the board to reduce my pay to match that of Carolyn’s when she was at easyJet.”

The airline, which is a FTSE 100 company, has a wide gender pay gap – the difference between average male and female pay – of 51.7%. This is because the vast majority – 94% – of its pilots, who earn far more than cabin crew and other employees, are male.

Only 4% of commercial pilots worldwide are female. EasyJet has set itself a target that a fifth of all new pilots recruited should be female by 2020, up from 6% in 2015 and 13% now. Last year it recruited 49 female pilots.

Lundgren said: “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.”

McCall started her new job at ITV this month. She is one of only eight female chief executives of a FTSE 100 company, a number that increased with the appointment of Anne Stevens at GKN earlier this month.

The broadcaster is paying McCall a base salary of £900,000, £41,000 less than her predecessor Adam Crozier, and her pension allowance has been reduced to 15% of her salary compared with his 25%.