Aeroflot Forced To Forfeit London Heathrow Slots Permanently

One week ago the British government announced sanctions against three Russian airlines: Aeroflot, Ural Airlines and Rossiya Airlines. This kept them from selling or leasing takeoff and landing slots at U.K. airports. Russian airlines already couldn’t enter U.K. airspace.

We now know what this means in practice for their London Heathrow slots: Russian airlines don’t just lose the ability to profit from their slots, they actually lose the slots.

  • Russian airlines will subject to the airport’s ‘use it or lose it’ rules for slots
  • Since they can’t use the slots, they will be forfeit
  • For winter 2022 and summer 2023 the slots will enter the pool that airlines can apply for

Aeroflot has 70 weekly takeoff and landing slots at London Heathrow. That’s enough for 5 daily roundtrips. One of those was leased from British Airways as a condition of approval for its acquisition of british midland 10 years ago. It’s not clear to me whether the slot will revert to BA’s use, or if they’ll have to lease it to another carrier.

The four slot pairs that Aeroflot owns are likely worth tens of millions of dollars apiece. The record for the sale of a slot pair was set in 2016 with Oman Air paying $75 million for slots from Kenya Airways. However the value of slots is dependent on their specific takeoff and landing times, and the value of slots in a post-pandemic world may have changed somewhat.

If U.K. sanctions were to be lifted against Russia it’s possible that Aeroflot could put its name up for the slots once again, and there would be pressure to award those slots to the majority state-owned carrier, both for international relations reasons and because Russia isn’t likely to allow U.K. airlines (i.e. British Airways) to fly London Heathrow to Moscow without their having similar access to Heathrow.

(HT: London Air Travel)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Well done, UK. That will certainly sway the Russian public in our direction.

  2. (Heavy Russian accent) “Is potato….
    Credit to Stephen Colbert!

  3. Don’t do the crime, if you can’t pay the fine.

    Don’t have a slot, must be Aeroflot.

  4. I remember the last time the world isolated russia. Can’t wait to have nukes pointing at us from Cuba again.

  5. @Airfarer – Russian public opinion will have little to do with any outcome of the Ukraine war.

    @Jerry – Practically no chance that happens now, for several reasons.

  6. Those sanctions seem to be working so well. The Ruble is the strongest it’s been in 4 years, Russia will have 3% GDP growth, and Russia has all of Ukrainian’s eastern and southern borders under its control up to Odessa. The West has super high inflation, big stock declines that took down hundreds of millions of retirement accounts with it, food shortages, supply chain issues, and super high energy costs.

  7. Oh Amy, are you a Russian bot? If you ARE real, please join me in Laredo so we can tell those hundreds of thousands of immigrants who literally risk their LIVES to move here that it’s just not worth it! I’m sure they will appreciate it! Funny,
    I don’t see reports of that many immigrants knocking on Russian security walls asking to be let in. You know, those walls they built to KEEP THEIR PEOPLE IN.
    Sweet fascist dreams Amy.
    Tell Traitor Tucker Carlson I said “drop dead!”

  8. Amy,
    Russia’s economy and the exchange of its currency is not happening in the same free market environment that existed before sanctions were put in place. Comparisons are meaningless.

    Russia decided that they were willing to risk their role in the western world by invading a neighbor – and that gamble is being lost including with its slots at LHR.

    The only real error on the part of the west is that the west did not act more harshly with previous Russian invasions of other countries – which clearly emboldened their invasion of Ukraine.

  9. Folks, Amy has no clue. She’s just a dumb russian bot, of which there are literally thousands these days.
    @Tim Dunn – 100% agree. Too many of Putler’s excursions and invasions were allowed and/or ignored by the West.

  10. Yawn… JorgeGeorge Paez and Gena, feel free to disprove what Amy said with facts and straight to her points. Otherwise, you look pathetic.

    By the way, when would London do the same against Turkish airlines? Or Turkey hasn’t invaded any other independent country?

  11. @Karo “…disprove what Amy said..”
    Are you too lazy to read? It’s all over the news. The quoted “exchange rate” is official gov’t BS, and it’s not used; the banks just don’t have any dollars to sell. You may as well post 1:1 rate, in this case.

    The real actual exchange rate, if you want to know, is on the black market, and it’s 110-120 rubles/dollar. This is straight from the people in Russia who know.

    But if you only read Amy, you’ll never know…

  12. Hey Amy – if you Russians are so happy now why are so many of you Russians dying to visit Ukraine? I hear once you visit the country, a third of you Russian never leave.

  13. @AlohaDaveKennedy, @Gennady, @JorgeGeorge –
    LOL- you people are so annoying. If you care so much about Ukraine, I’m sure Gary can help you use your miles to get you a flight there for you to help and fight for them. Guess you just like watching other people die though.

  14. @Brian L.
    Please enlighten us all with your knowledge on why nukes won’t ever be close to US again? And please leave out the part where we just trust the CIA and military have it under control

  15. @Don –
    I can see you don’t care about what’s going go…so please, feel free to skip this thread.

    Others, like me, do care about what’s happening in the world. So please, leave your snide remarks to yourself, and move on.

    Before you go, let me remind you, this conversation wasn’t about Ukraine — until some Russian bot named Amy turned it into one. This was about Aeroflot losing its landing slots at Heathrow.

  16. Seems like Amy missed the news that stock market was up 5 days in a row. Not to mention a page lifted from Russian propaganda.

  17. @Gena

    A poor post-Soviet immigrant who hates everything related to his former country…

    No, I’m far away from being lazy to read. However, what you read is important. Could you please show links that disprove what Amy said? Or calling someone a Russian (or anything else) troll is a new way to provide evidence in the argument?

  18. @Karo – “It’s like trying to show the Soviet Union is beating America by waving a copy of the Izvestia newspaper in someone’s face in 1982 and saying: ‘Look, the dollar is worth only 64 kopecks!”’ said Sergey Khestanov, a Moscow-based professor of finance and banking and advisor to the chief of executive of the Otkritie brokerage. “I’d agree — if anyone could actually buy a dollar for 64 kopecks.”

    Who cares what the “official” rate is when no one will sell you the dollars at that rate. Even the banks are charging massive “commissions”.

  19. Gary: Posts awkward right wing propaganda for years.
    Garys comment section: Literally worshipping Putin.

    This place is wild.

  20. @C_M

    Seriously? Is this the best link you could find? ok….

    There is a difference between worshipping someone and bashing everything related to a certain country. Especially when the same reasons (invading independent countries) don’t apply to other countries.

  21. Folks, don’t feed the Russian troll Karo. Nothing’s good enough for him. You can’t prove anything to the POS who is paid to troll.

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