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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 borrowing restrictions. However, it is likely that other airlines using Luton would object to full control passing to EasyJet.