An insight into the oldest Polish carrier: LOT Polish Airlines

In the global commercial air travel history spanning more than a century, many well-known airline brands have disappeared from the aviation landscape as casualties of skyrocketing jet fuel costs, mismanagement, merger, or financial woes. Since the early days of commercial aviation, few airlines have managed to survive the brutally competitive airline market and continue to make the world more mobile for people. One of such longest-standing airlines is LOT Polish Airlines, the flagship airline of Poland, which has been connecting the nation to major cities throughout Europe and the world for more than 90 years.

LOT Polish Airlines SP-LDA

The legacy of the oldest Polish carrier LOT Airlines, began in 1928 when it stepped into the aviation field. The Polish government founded the carrier as a self-governing limited liability, which entered commercial operations a month later, on 1 January 1929, to take over existing domestic carriers Aeroflot and Aero. Out of its central hub at Warsaw Chopin Airport, LOT Airlines operates flights to its dense European networks and destinations in Asia, the Middle East, and North America. It has been a Star Alliance member since October 2003. It offers seamless and convenient travel options between destinations in nearly 200 countries to introduce new ways for its passengers to travel the world.

Flashback to LOT Airlines’ past years

From 1929 till now, LOT Polish Airlines has evolved tremendously to be a globally present international carrier and one of the most experienced in the air travel industry. LOT Airlines kick-started its air operations in January 1929 as a domestic carrier using Junkers F13 and the Fokker F.VII but gradually inaugurated its international air service to Vienna, Austria, in August of that year.

LOT Polish Airlines Junkers F13

The 1930s marked the expansion phase for LOT Airlines as it got accepted into International Air Transport Association (IATA), flourished its international and domestic operations, and bolstered its fleet. LOT opened international routes to European cities of Berlin, Athens, Helsinki, Budapest, Beirut, Rome, and Copenhagen during this decade and welcomed aircraft like Douglas DC-2, Lockheed 10A Electra,’ 14H Super Electra’ etc.

In 1938, LOT Airlines took a bold leap into international expansion with a successful transatlantic test flight from Los Angeles via Buenos Aires, Natal, Dakar, to Warsaw with Lockheed Model 14H. Aimed to evaluate the feasibility of introducing passenger service on the Poland-US route, the experimental transatlantic flight covered a distance of 24,850 km and took 85 flying hours. Until the outbreak of World War II, the carrier ferried almost 220,000 flyers domestically and internationally.

The business of LOT Airlines went from nice to nasty with the beginning of the war in 1939. LOT disrupted its flying operations during WWII, with much of the airline’s fleet moving to Romania. The conflict wrecked LOT’s bottom line as it destroyed the carrier’s entire airport building and hangar.

The Polish government reinstated the carrier at the war’s end on 10 March 1945, enabling it to take to the skies again. LOT re-established its domestic and international routes the following year after receiving Soviet-built ex-Air Force Lisunov Li-2Ts, passenger Li-2Ps, and Douglas C-47s. LOT Airlines increased its pace to serve passengers to various European capitals, and by 1955 it set the milestone by welcoming its millionth passenger.

LOT Polish Airlines ushered into the era of jet travel by welcoming the Tupolev Tu-132 jet airliner in November 1968 to serve the existing European routes. The arrival of the Ilyushin-62 long-range narrowbody airliner set a landmark in the history of Poland’s oldest carrier by operating the first-ever transatlantic flights to Toronto in 1972 and New York City in 1973. LOT also expanded its footprint to the Far East with flights to Bangkok via Dubai and Bombay in 1977.

The Polish flagship carrier LOT Polish Airlines flew the longest-duration flight on the Warsaw-Singapore route in 1988. The carrier became the pioneer in Central and Eastern Europe to operate Western aircraft and entered the 1990s with the acquisition of Boeing 767-200s, Boeing 767-300s, and Boeing 737-500s. As the new century dawned, LOT Airlines flourished in its route network expansion task, and with the Okecie Airport converted into a hub, Warsaw Chopin Airport became a successful major hub for both local and transit traffic. Many achievements were made with the turn-of-the-century launch of Miles&More, membership of Star Alliance, the passenger-carried figure of 3 million customers in a year, and delivery of the largest-ever order of 11 aircraft.

The 2010s for LOT Airlines saw the addition of Embraer and Boeing 787 fleet, resumption of several routes to Asia, further long-haul expansion, diversification of operating bases, etc. The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted airline operations for nearly two years and slammed its revenue. LOT Polish Airlines is recovering slowly from the pandemic-induced travel woes, reactivating the suspended routes and taking more passengers to the skies.

Destinations served by LOT Polish Airlines

Over the past nine decades, LOT Airlines-the oldest Polish carrier has broadened its horizons to over 100 destinations on four continents. It is a leader in East Central Europe and connects Poland and Central and Eastern Europe with the globe. LOT Airlines has an industry-leading global network offering comfortable and safe travel to the world’s farthest corners. From the Old Continent to the Middle East, Asia, and North America, LOT Airlines customers can venture into new unexplored routes with the direct flights offered by carriers worldwide.

As the 18th largest air operator in Europe, LOT Polish Airlines serves European destinations, including Dubrovnik, Tirana, Vienna, Brussels, Sofia, Larnaca, Nicosia, Prague, Copenhagen, Billund, Nice, Paris, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Athens, Gothenburg, Zurich, etc. In Asia, LOT Airlines operates flights to Beijing, Beijing-Daxing, Mumbai, Seoul-Incheon, Goa, Delhi, Colombo, Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City. Similarly, LOT has strengthened its long-haul connection with flights to the North American cities of Toronto, Cancun, Chicago, Miami, Newark, New York, etc.

Primary and secondary hubs of LOT Airlines

The oldest and flagship airline of Poland, LOT Polish Airlines performs solidly in connecting Poland with airports in Europe, North America, and Asia via its competitive hub in Warsaw. The carrier has unlocked the potential of Warsaw as a key airport in terms of transfer and point-to-point passenger traffic volume. Largely based out of Warsaw’s Chopin Airport, LOT Airlines runs some services out of its second international hub at Budapest-Ferenc Liszt International Airport in Hungary.

LOT’s regularly scheduled long-haul service to New York and Seoul operates out of the Hungarian capital. Seoul Incheon was the first Asian destination served by the Polish flag carrier outside Poland; its second home base in Budapest in September 2019.

LOT Airlines is the sole carrier operating flights on the Hungary-US routes in the 2022 summer season following the suspension of American Airlines’ operations on the Budapest-Philadelphia route due to a fleet restructuring program.

The fleet of LOT Polish Airlines

Although LOT Airlines is the oldest carrier in Poland and the world, it operates one of the youngest fleets in Europe and the globe, which is not only technologically advanced but also offers the highest standard of safety, comfort, and efficiency. Its fleet includes 6 Boeing 737-800s, 5 Boeing 737 Maxs, 8 Boeing 787-8s, 7 Boeing 787-9s, 12 De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q400, 6 Embraer E170s, 7E190s, and 15 E195 jets. LOT Airlines is the European launch customer of Boeing 787-9 and Embraer E170 jets.

Warsaw, Poland. 24 July 2018. Airplane SP-LWD LOT – Polish Airlines Boeing 737-89P(WL) taking off from the Warsaw Chopin Airport. — Photo by grand-warszawski – PHOTO from DePOSit PhOTOs

The long-standing LOT Polish Airlines deploys state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners on all long-haul connections to the US, Canada, and China. Boeing 737 Max is the workhorse of LOT Airlines for short and medium-range operations supplementing capacity on regions not served enough by Embraer jets. Meanwhile, the Embraer regional jets form a key portion of LOT’s short-haul fleet, developing a flight network from its bases in Warsaw and Budapest.

Recently, the carrier has been eyeing regional fleet modernization with the objectives of fuel savings and environmental friendliness. LOT Airlines will phase out Bombardier Q400s by the end of this year and will execute its plans to replace Embraer E190 jets within five years.

Loyalty program of LOT Polish Airlines

The loyalty program of Deutsche Lufthansa, Miles & More is also the frequent flyer program of LOT Polish Airlines as a fully integrated partner. LOT customers can earn miles by flying with the carrier and other Star Alliance partner airlines, which can be redeemed for award flights, class upgrades, rental cars, hotels, shopping, telecommunications, electronic industries, etc.

LOT Polish Airlines 787
Krabi, Thailand – December 13,2015 : Polish airlines plane take off from Krabi airport in sunny day – PHOTO FROM DEPOSIT PHOTOS

LOT Airlines determines the passenger status within Miles & More by miles flown during one calendar year, which includes Basic (no minimal threshold), Frequent Traveller (Silver, minimum of 35000miles), Senator (Gold, minimum of 100000miles), and HON Circle (Black, at least 600,000 miles over two calendar years). The higher the status level, the more exclusive benefits passengers are likely to receive.

Poland to Sweden Flight

It takes one hour and forty-four minutes to fly from Poland to Sweden on average. For a ticket from Stockholm, Sweden, to Poznan, Poland, we looked up the average airfare price on the web and discovered that it was $289. The easiest approach to discovering cheap flights is to go through many websites. We believe FareCompare is the greatest way to locate inexpensive tickets since we examine numerous websites and fare sources simultaneously for you when you do a search there. You can find the mover company in Sweden is Flyttstädning stockholm   and Flytthjälp Stockholm.

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