EASYJET’s founder Sir Stelios Haji-Iaonnou is considering launching a transatlantic airline which would see him go head to head with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
The new airline branded Fastjet is unlikely to directly compete with easyJet, which operates flights mainly in Europe, according to reports this weekend.
A source close to the company told City A.M that Sir Stelios “was keeping his options open” and considering a number of routes.
It was revealed last week that Sir Stelios had written to easyJet saying he plans to launch a rival airline called Fastjet and accusing the management of orchestrating a smear campaign against him.
Sir Stelios alleged that easyJet breached the terms of a “comfort letter” dated October last year – making it void, a claim which easyJet said it “emphatically rejects”.
The letter – which prevents him from setting up a rival airline – included a “mutual respect” clause that prevents Sir Stelios and easyJet from speaking negatively of each other.
EasyJet vowed to “take necessary action” if Fastjet infringes on the rights of the airline and its investors.
A two-year row over the licensing of the brand was resolved last year, when easyJet increased the annual royalty it paid to easyGroup.
Under the agreement, easyJet said Sir Stelios agreed not to use any derivation of his name to brand any other airline within Europe for five years.
A spokesperson for Sir Stelios declined to comment last night.