Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

SAA may sell Heathrow slots to raise cash – sources

Spokesman says the current Heathrow slots remain ‘within SAA’s overall portfolio’.

South African Airways may sell its two prized nighttime operating slots at London’s Heathrow Airport as the state-owned carrier battles to stave off financial collapse, according to people familiar with the situation.

The national airline is currently using only one of the two takeoff and landing slots and could shift London-Johannesburg flights to a cheaper daytime schedule, said the people, who asked not to be identified as an official announcement hasn’t been made. That would reduce costs as the turnaround time would be shorter and free up the more valuable night time slots for potential sale.

The airline was placed under a local form of bankruptcy protection by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa after last making a profit in 2011 and having received R57 billion in bailouts since 1994. The administrators have announced that they will cut eight international routes and end all domestic flights aside from those between Cape Town and Johannesburg, drawing criticism from labor groups and government.

“SAA continues to operate to London and this has been confirmed by network changes recently announced by the business rescue practitioners,” spokesman Tlali Tlali said in an emailed response to questions on Thursday. “This means the current Heathrow slots remain within SAA’s overall portfolio.”

The slots do not have to be used to fly between the U.K. and South Africa as they are merely time slots for Heathrow. Nevertheless, overnight flights to and from Johannesburg are convenient for the 11-hour journey and are likely to attract customers. In addition to SAA, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways currently ply the route.

Separately, Virgin said Wednesday that the airline plans to resume flights between Heathrow and Cape Town starting in October.

In 2016, Oman Air set a record by buying a landing slot in Heathrow for $75 million from Air France-KLM.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Get access to Moneyweb's financial intelligence and support quality journalism for only
R63/month or R630/year.
Sign up here, cancel at any time.

COMMENTS   5

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

So. SAA is like a person selling his body parts to keep his head above water? LOL!

You will never get it back.

…..giving up Heathrow ….is admitting foreign airlines just do it right

Personally ….giving up Heathrow is like telling an “Urber chick” “…I can’t get it up?”

or….premature evacuation….

Load All 5 Comments
End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

NEWSLETTERS WEB APP SHOP PORTFOLIO TOOL TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: