Sir Stelios looks to set up rival Fastjet

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is poised to go into battle with the airline he set up 16 years ago by launching a potential rival called Fastjet.

In a shock move, Sir Stelios has written to easyJet to announce plans to form the new carrier and has already established www.fastjet.com, which currently reads “Fastjet.com by Stelios. Coming soon!”.

The move is the latest instalment in a series of conflicts between the billionaire entrepreneur and the airline in which he and his family own a 38 per cent stake.

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It looked as if the two sides had settled their differences last week after easyJet agreed to pay £190m in dividends to shareholders, including Sir Stelios.

Sir Stelios, who owns the easyGroup holdings company, which controls the “easy” brand, declined to comment on the announcement.

EasyJet has vowed to fight Sir Stelios if Fastjet infringes on the rights of the airline and its shareholders. Easyjet said it “continues to seek constructive dialogue” with easyGroup and Sir Stelios, who was knighted in 2006.