Scandinavian carrier SAS has agreed a deal to sell one of its slot pairs at London’s Heathrow Airport to a “major international carrier” from the start of the summer 2015 schedule on March 29, 2015. This is the latest in a number of transactions over the past years as airlines trade slots to allow access into the capacity constrained UK gateway.
According to SAS, currently the fifth largest holder of slots at London Heathow, the transaction will generate “a positive earnings impact of the equivalent of $60 million for SAS to be accounted for during the second quarter of the fiscal year 2014/2015 with a corresponding cash effect during the fiscal year 2014/2015”.
Following the closure of this deal, SAS will now hold 20 daily slots at London Heathrow which it uses to offer non-stop flights to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, Stockholm and Stavanger. Despite reducing its slot capacity by 4.8 per cent, SAS will continue to offer a strong and comprehensive network between Scandinavia and London Heathrow.
“The intention is to keep the seat capacity to/from London Heathrow through the use of larger aircraft on remaining departures,” said a spokesman for SAS, who hinted that the carrier could look to introduce flights to alternative London airports, particularly on routes with large point-to-point demand. “Furthermore, SAS will consider the use of other airports in the London region,” he said.