American Airlines has confirmed it was behind the recent purchase of two slot pairs at Heathrow airport from Scandinavian Airlines.
At the time the purchasing airline was not disclosed, but a line in AA’s first-quarter 2017 results, published yesterday, confirms that the carrier “Entered into an arrangement with Scandinavian Airlines to obtain two slot pairs at London’s Heathrow Airport, strengthening American’s presence at a key international gateway for American and joint business partner British Airways”.
AA’s president Robert Isom said that the carrier had “moved quickly on the opportunity to add two new slot pairs at Heathrow, which we will use to improve service to and from one of the world’s most important business markets”.
Note that under the terms of the purchase agreement, SAS is allowed to use both slot pairs for up to three years, so it may be a while before travellers see any increase in American Airlines routes or frequencies at Heathrow.
In 2015 SAS received the sum of US$60 million when it sold a single slot pair to an unnamed carrier (also believed to have been American Airlines).
Other highlights of the AA’s first quarter results include:
- A first-quarter pre-tax profit of US365 million
- The deferral of the first of the carrier’s A350 aircraft from 2018 to 2020
- An agreement to increase hourly base pay for crew
- The launch of Basic Economy on ten routes
- The launch of premium economy on selected international routes, for travel from May 4
- The introduction of a new boarding process, using “intuitive group numbers to streamline and speed up the boarding process and improve the experience for customers”
- The delivery of 17 mainline and five regional aircraft during the quarter