Sir Stelios surprised by Queen’s honour

EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has just got a a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honour’s list.

The serial entrepreneur has dedicated the knighthood to the 10,000 people who work in his organisation who, he said, worked to make a difference to the lives of millions.

“I am always pleasantly surprised when ordinary members of the public stop me to say ‘thank you’, I guess for making travel and other goods and services available to them,” he said.

Stelios, 39, was born in Greece but studied in London before setting up his first company, Stelmar Shipping, at the age of 25.

He went on to start 16 ventures including, in 1995, the hugely successful no-frills carrier easyJet.


This success spawned the easyGroup firm that now covers personal finance, online recruitment, pizza delivery, music downloads, mobile telephony, hotels, a cruise line and wrist watches.

Haji-Ioannou, 39, said “an endorsement from the top echelons of British society is a joy to me and a great reward for the efforts that I have made.”

“I have always said that in order to make an economy more entrepreneurial we need to learn to celebrate business success and tolerate business failure.”