The founder of budget airline Easyjet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has announced that he is starting up a new airline called 'Fastjet'.
It is believed that Sir Stelios, who is still the largest shareholder of Easyjet with 38 per cent of its shares, will set up the company to compete with the airline he founded.
He has written to Easyjet announcing his plans for the new airline and has already set up at the url fastjet.com, which currently simply reads: 'By Stelios. Coming soon!'
The move comes just days after Sir Stelios backed down in a battle with Easyjet to remove a shareholder from the board after a disagreement about strategy.
EasyJet said in a statement: 'Easyjet plc announces that it has received notice from Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou that he intends to set up an airline branded Fastjet and that a website has already been established.'
'Easyjet has a number of rights under its agreements with Sir Stelios and easyGroup IP Licensing Ltd (a subsidiary of easyGroup Holdings Limited) 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.'
Sir Stelios has declined to comment on the new venture.
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