Croatia Airlines (OU, Zagreb) is planning to sell an undisclosed number of its nine weekly London Heathrow slot pairs the Večernji list newspaper has reported.

Airlines sources who spoke to the publication said the decision to dispose of the slots came after a review showed the Zagreb-London Heathrow route registered losses of up to EUR3 million (USD3.29 million) per annum despite average loads of around 75%.

The sources said that price-wise, Croatia Airlines could not compete with the route's only other operator, British Airways (BA, London Heathrow), hence the decision to withdraw.

Management estimates funds raised through the sale should cover part of the airline's recapitalization drive.

Although tight-lipped about potential buyers, unofficial reports have suggested Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l) as a strong prospect.