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South African Airways prime London Heathrow slot sold, to stop flights to Cape Town

Media reports recently indicated that South African Airways has done away with one of its three exclusive daily landing-time slots at Heathrow Airport in London.

According to media reports, the prime Heathrow slot has been sold as the airline will stop operating nonstop South African Airways flights between Cape Town and London starting from August 15, 2012.

The reports said that Heathrow Airport slots are quite expensive and extremely difficult to be purchased. Now that South African Airways has sold one of its three exclusive daily landing-time slots at Heathrow, it is unlikely to buy it again in future. It was only in 1997 that Heathrow had allocated a new morning landing-time slot the last time.

Theunis Potgieter, South African Airways’ Commercial General Manager, has already confirmed the latest deal but has declined to name the buyer or the selling price.

However, South African Airways had earlier tried to rent its landing-time slot but was unsuccessful because the times cannot be transferred between the airlines and are required to be either leased out or sold.

South African Airways presently continue to operate two flights daily between Johannesburg and London Heathrow.