Kenya Airways sells its Heathrow slot to Oman Air

Kenya Airways Crew
Kenya Airways Crew

Kenya Airways has sold its prized early morning slot at London Heathrow Airport to Oman Air. Initially it was reported that Oman Air acquired the slot from the Air France/KLM Group.

Kenya’s national airline is experiencing financial difficulties falling passenger numbers have obliged it to reduce capacity, the sale of the Heathrow slot has raised $75 million for the company.

Its cost cutting has also included trimming its fleet.

Kenya Airways’ new B777-300ERs, which were serving London until last September, are now flying for Turkish Airlines, while two of its factory-fresh B787s have been leased to Oman Air.

Kenya Airways Boeing 777-200ER
Kenya Airways Boeing 777-200ER (5Y-KYZ) taking off from London Heathrow Airport. Photo: Adrian Pingstone (Phone used under the Creative Commons licence)

But the sale doesn’t mean Kenya Airways is quitting London’s premier airport as they will lease (rather than own outright) its Heathrow slot from KLM (who have a 26 per cent shareholding in Kenya Airways).

It means that once the new slot time take effect, Kenya Airways will be pay a fee to KLM every time its B787 lands and takes off from Heathrow.

Currently both Nairobi-London and London-Nairobi flights operate to overnight timings with the aircraft spending all day on the ground at Heathrow.

However, once the new Kenya Airways slot times come into effect from March 27 mean the airline will operate a daylight flight to London returning overnight to Nairobi.

This will call for a much quicker 2 hrs and 10 mins turnaround at Heathrow.

The daily flight is operated by a B787 but inbound timings are expected to be less popular with business people as they prefer overnight services.

Revised Kenya Airways Heathrow timings from 27 March 2016

  • KQ100 Nairobi-London Heathrow 0915-1615
  • KQ101 London Heathrow-Nairobi 1825-0500 (next day)