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'NICE AIRPORT, I’LL TAKE IT', SAYS EASYJET OWNER

News, 01 May 1997

ECHOING VICTOR KIAM of Remington fame, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, youthful owner of EasyJet, the direct-sell no frills airline, has told Luton Borough Council he likes its airport so much he wants to buy it. The council-owned airport, valued by analysts at between £50m and £100m, is EasyJet’s home base. Haji-Ioannou, heir to a Greek shipping fortune, isn’t short of a bob or three and could be a serious contender. Cllr Walter Cooney, chairman of the airport’s board, is ambivalent about the tycoon’s interest, saying only that the deep-pocketed Greek had 'a day-to-day involvement' with the airport and was 'aware of the council’s problems with capital expenditure'. Local councils are subject, at present, to borrow-ing restrictions. However, it is likely that other airlines using Luton would object to full control passing to EasyJet.