Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has acquired three pairs of London Heathrow landing slots from Indian carrier Jet Airways for $70m.

The agreement will see Jet Airways lease the slots from Etihad and continue to operate existing flights to Heathrow.

It is the first play in a larger anticipated investment by Etihad in the Indian airline. Executives from both carriers have confirmed ongoing discussions to this effect.

The airlines have maintained a commercial relationship since signing a codeshare agreement in 2008.