EasyJet's chief executive Johan Lundgren is reducing his salary by £34,000 to match that of his predecessor Carolyn McCall.

Mr Lundgren's starting annual salary was £740,000, while Ms McCall was on £706,000 when she left the budget airline in November.

He was previously a deputy chief executive at travel group Tui.

EasyJet was "absolutely committed" to giving equal pay and equal opportunity for women and men, said Mr Lundgren.

"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," he added.

"I also want to affirm my own commitment to address the gender imbalance in our pilot community which drives our overall gender pay gap."

Female pilots

The gender pay gap in EasyJet is currently 51.7%, but the budget airline says this is not because of unequal pay for women.

Salaries for pilots and cabin crew are collectively agreed with unions and both men and women are paid the same.

The gender pay gap comes in because there are far fewer female pilots than male pilots in the industry as a whole – only 4% of commercial pilots are women, and only 5% of EasyJet's pilots are women.

The budget carrier has set a target that 20% of new pilots should be female by 2020, up from 6% in 2015.

Earlier this month, EasyJet reported a 14.4% jump in revenues to £1.1bn for the three months to 31 December, with passenger numbers up 8% to 18.8 million in the period.

Original Article