LOT Polish airline reports profit in August 2014 – suspends Warsaw Airport routes in winter schedule but maintains Dreamliner flights to the US
Despite the frail financial condition and losses reported in the recent years, the Polish flag carrier LOT has announced that in August 2014 it managed to make its core business, which is passenger transport, profitable again.
By following closely the restructuration plan imposed by the European Commission, the airline avoided having to apply for the second tranche of state aid (LOT airlines had already received approx. 95 million euro bailout in December 2012).
The financial turnaround of the Polish airline is very likely to attract interest of the investors.
Polish Airlines LOT Dreamliner fleet takes off from Warsaw
One of the key elements of Polish Airlines LOT restructuring process is modernizing the fleet with the state of the art aircraft, Boeing 787. The cost-efficient Dreamliner serving on long-haul routes is believed to contribute significantly to improving the airlines financial performance. The so called “Dreamliner’s effect” most likely contributed to the profit reported by LOT Polish Airlines.
Since summer 2013, all long haul flights of the Polish airline are operated exclusively by Dreamliner. Warsaw-Chopin – Chicago O’Hare is, by far, LOT’s busiest intercontinental (Dreamliner-flown) route, followed by New York-JFK, Toronto and Beijing.
The Dreamliner is used also on selected flights to London-Heathrow, which is one of the top business destinations from Warsaw Airport, operated by LOT Polish Airlines.
Polish Airline LOT was the first European airline to introduce Dreamliner into their fleet. In 2014, five of a total of eight Boeing 787 ordered, were operational, despite a series of technical difficulties which resulted in grounding the aircrafts on several occasions as a preventive security measure.
Warsaw Airport - LOT routes suspended in winter 2014/205
In effort to optimise resources the Polish airline has taken a decision of suspending the less profitable routes in the winter 2014/2015 schedule at the main Polish airport, Warsaw-Chopin.
As of 24/25 October, the following routes are suspended:
- Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) – Barcelona El-Prat Airport (BCN)
- Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) – Athens Airport (ATH)
- Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) – Beirut Airport (BEY)
- Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) – Nice Airport (NCE)
- Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) – Zurich Airport (ZRH)
Despite the suspension of the above flight, Polish Airline LOT’s overall transit capacity at Warsaw Chopin Airport, however, increased in 40%; care has been taken to make life easier for passengers with connecting flights at Warsaw Airport to both Polish and European destinations.
Polish flag carrier LOT’s low-cost competitors in Warsaw: Ryanair and Wizzair
LOT Polish Airline faces a fierce competition in the lucrative Warsaw market. The low-cost Ryanair does not make it a secret that its aim is to overtake the flag carrier in the quest for Polish customers in the nearest future. So far the Irish airline has proved to be worthy competitor in the segment of domestic flights, constantly developing in at Warsaw’s low-cost airport, in Modlin (WMI).
LOT is sharing the prime location for air traffic to/in Poland – Warsaw Airport with more budget carriers, amongst them Norwegian and Germanwings offering a fairly limited choice of destinations. The competitor to keep a close eye on, however, is the Hungarian airline Wizzair with nearly 30 low-cost routes from Warsaw-Chopin in 2015 schedule.