Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the self-styled “serial entreprenuer”, better known in this industry as the founder of UK low-cost carrier easyJet, has an even broader smile than ever following the announcement in the Queen’s birthday honours list that he is to receive a knighthood.
Check out Wikipedia, the online encylopedia, for a detailed description of what being a knight might mean for the Greek tycoon, but it does offer Stelios at the very least an opportunity for a funky photocall fully clad in the appropriate garb. Stelios, like fellow knight Sir Richard Branson, is never afraid of a bit of self-publicity. Here is Stelios doing his publicity stuff promoting his pizza delivery business.
Stelios was himself a little surprised to receive his gong, which has come because of his still short entreprenuerial rein. “It came as a surprise to me and I am not sure at this stage that I deserve an honour for services to entrepreneurship which is usually reserved for those with a lifetime of business achievement. I only started easyJet some 11 years ago!”
Never one to miss a chance to take a broadsword slash at their rivals, Ryanair has given Stelios their own knighthood treatment. With a “fly by knight” headline, the Irish low-cost carrier continues its reputation of delivering some of the weird and wackiest press missives, this time swiping at easyJet for being – in its view – something less of a low-fares airline than itself.