Croatia Airlines (OU, Zagreb) has formally abandoned plans to sell off any of its nine London Heathrow take-off/landing slots following a review of the move with the airline's owners, the Croatian state.

A source in the Croatian Ministry for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure confirmed to local media outlet 24Sata news last week that the sale has now been formally cancelled.

Last year, the state-owned carrier's management mentioned tentative plans to dispose of the slots given the continuous losses being incurred on the Zagreb-London Heathrow route. Aside from the cost-cutting implications of the sale, funds raised would to also have been used for the maintenance of nine aircraft engines.

However, the move soon resulted in the Croatian Transport Minister Oleg Butković and State Property Minister Goran Marić calling a meeting with management demanding a breakdown of the plan as well as the airline's finances. No mention of the report's contents has thus far been made public.

As such, the source added that Croatia Airlines will take out a long-term loan to pay for the engines' maintenance, estimated to cost around USD30 million.