Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has sold another two slot pairs at Heathrow airport for the sum of US$75 million, according to industry publication ATW.
Secrecy surrounds Heathrow slot sales. The airline who acquired them wishes to remain anonymous.
In fact we may never know the buyer because, under the terms of the sale, SAS is allowed to use both slot pairs for up to three years.
In a statement, SAS said, “Even after this transaction, SAS will continue to offer a strong and comprehensive network between Scandinavia and London Heathrow. The intention is to maintain the seat capacity to and from Heathrow through the use of larger aircraft on remaining departures.”
SAS has the sixth largest number of Heathrow slots. Its current tally of 19 slots will, after this particular pair of slots are transferred, therefore be reduced to 17 (slot) pairs.
The Scandinavian carrier operates regular flights from Heathrow to main destinations such as Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, with onward connections to Nordic countries and beyond.
Heathrow slots are the world’s most valuable. The price airlines pay for them will depend on the time of day and day of the week.
SAS has previously sold other Heathrow slots.
Two years ago SAS received the sum of US$60 million when it sold a single slot pair to an unnamed carrier (believed to have been American Airlines).
However the record price for a single Heathrow slot pair remains unbroken.
Oman Air now uses the slot for its overnight Muscat-London service which arrives early the following morning – a peak time for long-haul arrivals at Heathrow which explains the hefty fee Oman Air was prepared to pay.
Kenya Airways remains at Heathrow. But with no slot of its own the cash-strapped airline now leases one from Dutch airline KLM (which has a 26 per cent share in Kenya Airways).