Croatia Airlines (OU, Zagreb) has been barred from disposing of any of its nine weekly London Heathrow slot pairs the Večernji list newspaper has reported.

Airline sources informed the paper late last month of management's intention to sell off the slots given the continuous losses being incurred on the Zagreb-London Heathrow route.

However, the paper now reports that Croatian Transport Minister Oleg Butković and State Property Minister Goran Marić, acting on behalf of the airline's owner, the Croatian state, forbade the sale during a meeting with CEO Krešimir Kučko last week.

They said the decision to sell had been rushed and lacked a detailed impact analysis to determine any longterm consequences the sale may have.

Sources privy to the details of the meeting state that the ministers also demanded management put together a comprehensive briefing on the state of Croatia Airlines' financial affairs. Their concerns focus on why the airline would need to dispose of its assets given frequeent reports claiming it is now on the road to profitability.