Heathrow Airport slots alone worth €1.2 billion to Aer Lingus

The possible sale of Aer Lingus has taken on a new twist as it emerged that the airline's access to Heathrow Airport could be worth €1.2 billion. This evaluation has been estimated on the basis of a sale of landing rights by another carrier,  SAS, the Scandinavian airline.

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport Image by Hugh Llewelyn / CC BY 2.0

The Heathrow link alone would make it worth around €1.36 billion which is the value that International Consolidated Airlines’ Group (IAG) is currently proposing to pay offering for the Irish airline.

The latest value, the Irish Times reports, from a $60 million deal done by SAS, will further pressurize the Irish Government not to sell its 25.1% stake. IAG is offering €2.55 per Aer Lingus share.

Aer Lingus planes at Dublin Airport.

Aer Lingus planes. Image by Artur Widak/PA Wire

SAS is selling one slot at Heathrow to an anonymous buyer understood to be a US airline or Qatar Airlines. It has been disclosed that the buyer had approached SAS with an offer they could not refuse which values the Irish airline’s 23 slot-pairs at€1.2 billion. The airline also has close to €400 million in net cash and an aircraft fleet worth an estimated €700 million. Together with the landing rights, this would put a value of €2.3 billion on its main assets.

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