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Loucas Haji-Ioannou dies aged 81

Loucas Haji-Ioannou dies aged 81
Loucas Haji-Ioannou, self styled ?king of tankers? in the 1980s and early 1990s, has died in hospital in Athens after a long illness.

Loucas Haji-Ioannou, self styled "king of tankers" in the 1980s and early 1990s, has died in hospital in Athens after a long illness.

Tanker magnate, Loucas Haji-Ioannou dies, aged 81

Loucas Haji-Ioannou, self styled "king of tankers" in the 1980s and early 1990s, has died in hospital in Athens after a long illness.

At one point in the late 1980s the largest independent tanker owner in the world, Mr Haji-Ioannou will also be remembered for his philanthropic activities in both Greece and his native Cyprus.

At the height of his success, Mr HajiIoannou, who was mainly known for very large crude carriers, ran a Troodos Shipping & Tradng fleet of more than 50 tankers employing more than 2,000 seafarers.

Born in 1927 in the high-altitude Cypriot village of Pedhoulas, famous chiefly for its luscious cherries, the young Mr Haji-Ioannou started work in his family"s trading business before working his way round to shipowning via mercantile and ship"s agent activities in Saudi Arabia and London.

Starting in 1958, his first vessels were Liberty ships carrying general cargo and cement. Troodos bought its first tanker in 1969 and for a while ran both wet and dry tonnage before concentrating on tankers from the second half of the 1970s.

Mr Haji-Ioannou was said to be badly affected by a tragic explosion on one of the company"s VLCCs, Haven, just outside Genoa in 1991, although the family and the company"s managers were exonerated of any blame by Italian courts.

He spent much of the decade claiming to be semi-retired in Monte Carlo but gradually slipped out of the public eye amid reports of a serious long term illness.

Troodos was wound down and the vessels ceded to eldest son Polys, who has become a major shipowner in his own right.

Second son Sir Stelios HajiIoannou has achieved fame as the founder of easyJet and the entrepreneur behind other easyGroup brands including boutique cruise line easyCruise.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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