Qatar Airways is in the final stages of a $20mn deal to acquire an additional landing slot at London’s Heathrow Airport as part of an agreement with Cyprus Airways.
According to the Cyprus Mail, legal advisors from both sides were this week drafting the terms of the sale, with an official announcement due imminently.
The sale of the landing slot by the European Union nation’s state-owned carrier has caused considerable controversy with the local pilots’ union, which has urged the financially troubled airline to seek other ways of raising cash. In its most recent financial year, Cyprus Airways lost €55.8mn ($75.8mn).
Qatar Airways is due to start flying from the Qatari capital Doha to Cyprus’s Larnaca airport from April 29 this year.
A Qatar Airways spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment to confirm the acquisition of the Heathrow landing slot.
Landing slots at the London airport nearly always come at a premium, given that the world’s largest international aviation hub is currently operating at about 98 percent capacity.