easyJet (U2, London Luton) has announced yet another sale and leaseback transaction, this time covering ten A320 family aircraft sold to SMBC Aviation Capital.

The British low-cost carrier said in its annual earnings release that the transaction generated total cash proceeds of USD368.8 million. It did not reveal the duration of the leaseback.

"Following this transaction, we retain ownership of 55% of the total fleet, with 37% unencumbered. We are not currently considering any further sale and leaseback transactions on the scale of those undertaken in recent months," easyJet said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module, prior to the transaction easyJet owned forty-six A319-100s, 132 A320-200s, thirty-one A320-200Ns, and seven A321-200NXs. Among its dry-leased aircraft, seven (one A319 and six A320neo) are owned by SMBC.

easyJet said it lost GBP1.08 billion pounds (USD1.43 billion) after tax in the year ended on September 30, 2020. Despite this result, Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said he was "immensely proud of the performance of the easyJet team in facing the challenges of 2020".

"We responded robustly and decisively, minimising losses, reducing cash burn and launching the largest Cost Out and restructuring programme in our history ‐ all while raising more than GBP3.1 billion (USD4.1 billion) in liquidity to date," Lundgren said.

easyJet's founder and largest shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who remains vocally opposed to the current management's COVID-coping strategy, said the results were "financial jiggery-pokery" based on an "absurdly upbeat message and misleading numbers". He reiterated his opposition to easyJet's plans to continue its fleet renewal programme in the coming years, albeit at a slower pace.

"In my opinion, the scoundrels are now only running the business for the benefit of Airbus and not for the benefit of easyJet shareholders... Why does anyone want to buy more aircraft when 80% of the fleet (273 aircraft) is grounded as we speak?," Haji-Ioannou said.