Easyjet founder threatens to revoke “Easy” branding licence

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet, has threatened to force the airline to abandon the easy brand, so that he can licence it to another company.

Sir Stelios, who still owns 38% of the airline as well as the rights to the “easy” brand, made the claim whilst giving evidence on the third day of a bitter legal dispute underway at the High Court between Sir Stelios and the airline he founded in 1995.

According to various reports, Sir Stelios accused easyJet of “gouging” its customers with “useless services” such as text alerts and onboard weddings, for damaging easyJet’s reputation, adding he believed easyJet was causing long-term damage while it pursued short-term revenue solutions.

Sir Stelios cited a £5.99 text message reminder service, saying that when he used it, he received a text at 10.55 – to tell him that boarding for his flight closed at 10.20.

“If I were not connected to easyJet I would have felt ripped off to the tune of £5.99. This service is a small example of the drive to grow ancillary revenues leading to the introduction of services which are not really worthwhile and will damage the reputation of the easyJet brand,” he said.

Sir Stelios’s evidence comes days after he provided written evidence arguing that the company is now exceeding previously set limits, resulting in the changing nature of its business. This, he warned, may result in “changing the public perception of the EasyJet business and occupying space in market sectors which could otherwise be occupied by Easy licensees”.

The hearing is expected to last all week, with a decision next month.

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