It all started with a dream!

easyHistory, the easy family photo album documents the birth of the easy brand founded by Sir Stelios Haji-ioannou in 1995 with the airline easyJet.

Stelios at the easyJet Launch in Planet Hollywood

Stelios at the age of 28 with a big dream: to build a world famous brand.

As of 6th February 2020

‘Dear friends and members of the easy Family of Brands

Some 25 years ago I had the best business idea of my life: to start a pioneering low cost airline. That in turn led to my second best business idea: using the airline to build a brand and then extend it.

However by keeping the intellectual property rights to all the brands (including easyJet) in my own private company – easyGroup I was able to build and develop the easy family of brands by attracting investment from many different outside investors for different sub-brands. Moreover by partnering with some inspiring fellow entrepreneurs we launched even more new sub-brands thus sharing the risks and rewards of venturing. Nowadays I earn a predicable income stream from recurring annual royalties from the
easy family of brands.

I either reinvest these royalties in expanding the easy family of brands or donate them to my charitable foundation through which I give back to society. Although easyJet’s first flight was in 1995, planning the easy brand started earlier, actually in 1994. At that time I was 2 years into working on my first start up venture, a shipping company called “Stelmar”. The name was derived by combining my first name plus “maritime”. So the working title of the airline became “Stelair” (my first brand extension) until I decided “easy” was a better brand than “Stel”.

I had to decide between putting my own name on the planes as the late Sir Freddy Laker did in the 70’s, or building a more versatile international brand like Virgin. I recall sitting at a bar sometime in late 1994, writing different ideas on a napkin. I tried: stelair, steljet, cheapjet, affordablejet before easyJet won. I regret that I didn’t keep the napkin. I did not know then how valuable this brand would be one day. Also thank God for the moment of sanity in not allowing myself to be completely self-centred (my own name did not go on aeroplanes, it remained only on ships). So to recap in 1995 I began to build a world famous brand centred on the word easy. It has been a long road (25 years), with the inevitable ups and downs that are inherent in entrepreneurship, but at least I am still here, doing better than ever before financially, to tell our story. And here it is! This easyHistory booklet is a pictorial celebration of our first quarter of a century, I like to think of it as our easy family album. Enjoy the read.‘

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou
creator and owner
easy family of brands