Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is planning to launch a new budget airline branded ‘Fastjet’ that will rival easyJet.
easyJet has confirmed in a statement on its website that it has been informed of the news: “easyJet has received notice from Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou that he intends to set up an airline branded Fastjet
“easyJet has a number of rights under its agreements with Sir Stelios and easyGroup as described in the Circular to shareholders dated 16th November 2010.
“To the extent that any activity of Fastjet, Sir Stelios or any company controlled by him infringes or would infringe those rights, easyJet will take necessary action to protect the rights of easyJet and the interests of its shareholders.
According to the statement, Sir Stelios claims that easyJet has breached the terms of the binding comfort letter between him and easyJet of 10 October 2010 and that that letter is no longer in force.
In response to the announcement, Jerome Cohen- Scali, Co-Founder of flight comparison site Jetcost.co.uk commented:
“Another shrewd move from the king of cheap air travel that is sure to irritate his rivals within the budget airline industry. Airlines have had a tough time over recent years with the budget travel industry as competitive as ever, and Fastjet is sure to use Sir Stelios’ dominant position within the industry to its advantage and undercut its competitors.
“Hopefully, the increased competition from another airline will force airlines to put their prices down ever lower; benefitting the consumer with cheaper flights on offer across the board. There’s no doubt that Fastjet will be huge competition to the likes of other cheap airlines, and will ruffle a few feathers in the industry.
“We think Michael O’Leary will have choked on his supermarket value porridge when he read the news that Sir Stelios is back, and back with a ‘fast’ bang!”
A website, www.Fastjet.com, has already been established. It reads “Fastjet by Stelios coming soon”.