EasyJet sets course for place in FTSE-100

The promotion of low-cost airline EasyJet to the FTSE-100 index is set to be confirmed this week after a record run for its share price.

The carrier is now the London market’s 82nd-largest company and, with a value of £4 billion, will be large enough to earn a place among the ranks of blue-chip companies in the latest quarterly review of FTSE indices.

Its shares closed at a record high of 1,017p on Friday, up 2 per cent on the day, having stood at just short of 400p when Carolyn McCall took over as chief executive in July 2010.

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The company, which joined the stock market in 2000, has benefited from an improved operational performance and the launch of allocated seating, which helped it attract ten million business passengers last year.

EasyJet has consistently
beaten City expectations for profits but a long-running war of words with founder and major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji Ioannou has overshadowed some of its recent success.

Sir Stelios, whose family holds 36 per cent of the company’s shares, has been unhappy at plans to place a large order for a fleet of more fuel-efficient aircraft.

FTSE Group will disclose
on Wednesday which companies will enter and leave the top flight shares index at the end
of the following week, based on the market values of those companies at the close of trading the previous night.