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20th Feb 2004, 21:38
EasyJet founder to start no-frills cruise line

February 20, 2004

EasyCruise; EasyBus; EasyHotel

EasyJet founder Stelios Haji sold shares in the airline worth 14m to finance a 'little shopping spree' and bought a cruise ship, a hotel and ten mini-busses.

It's thought Haji is planning to establish EasyCruise, a no-frills cruise ship company, which would travel between Majorca, Nice, Corsica, Rome and other cities on a 14 night trip, costing about 14 a day.

Passengers, who are likely to be in their 20s, 30s and 40s, would have to pay for their bedding and clean their own rooms.

Haji also plans to set up EasyHotel, withthe first hotel opening in London later this year, and EasyBus, a short-distance mini-bus service.

Haji sold 4m shares in EasyJet and said he could not rule out selling more from time to time. The shares fell 8 to 354p. He said: 'I have not sold out of EasyJet nor do I intend to sell out.' The Haji-Ioannou family still own 41% of EasyJet.

Haji said: 'It's more fun when you sell shares than when you buy things, because it's instant gratification. When you buy things you have to wait a long time before you see if they're a success.'