Stelios Haji-Ioannou is an entrepreneur who created easyJet the low cost airline from scratch on the back of low cost air fares and a fun personal image.
Stelios in the mid-Eighties studied at the London School of Economics. In 1988, after getting a masters degree at the London Business School, he returned to Greece to join his dad’s shipping business.
When Stelios, was an executive of his dad’s business, their tanker Haven blew up, pouring out into the Mediterranean sea tonnes of crude oil and killing five crew.
After this Stelios left his dad’s business and set up Stelmar Tankers, his own shipping company. He then went on to persuade Loucas to lend him £5 million to start easyJet.
From Luton, in 1995, Stelios started easyJet a low cost budget airline. Using two rented 737s and £29 one-way fares to Glasgow.
Stelios burst into the airline market, appearing at airline conferences, stirring up rivals and get himself in the news. The airline is valued at £1.6 billion the biggest European budget airline.