founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou is exploring the creation of a low-cost carrier in Africa. His Easy Group has entered into an agreement with Rubicon Investments to develop a business plan for the venture. The work is planned to take several months, so a new airline likely would not start before the end of 2012 at the earliest.
Stelios and his family still own a 38% stake in EasyJet, but he has been at odds with management over the airline’s strategy. The carrier’s founder claims that the airline has been growing too fast at the expense of margins and dividends for its shareholders. He and EasyJet reached an agreement late last year that he cannot set up another airline in Europe or flying to Europe within the next five years using his name.
Rubicon and Stelios are understood to be cooperating in the project with Lonrho, the parent company of Kenya-based low-cost carrier Fly540. The airline operates a fleet of ATRs and recently took delivery of its first jet, a. The low-cost carrier concept is otherwise still very much limited to South Africa, where Kulula.com, 1time and Velvet Sky compete against South African Airways .