Wednesday, March 28, 2018

LOT’s long-haul service gets 787-9 boost

LOT Polish Airline’s first Boeing 787-9 will be used both to service the carrier’s flagship transatlantic routes and to open new sectors, the airline’s CEO Rafał Milczarski said as the first 787-9 arrived in Warsaw March 23.

The aircraft will go into service by the end of the month on the Warsaw-Chicago sector, one of the airline’s most heavily trafficked routes. The second and third -9s, scheduled to arrive later this year, will be used to supplement the existing fleet of eight smaller 787-8s on the New York and Toronto runs, as well as to the South Korean capital, Seoul.

The fourth and final 787-9 will arrive in 2019. All four aircraft are being leased to LOT by Aviation Capital Group.

The new aircraft will have a three-class, 294-seat layout, providing 42 more seats than the 787-8s. The 787-9s will have 24 full flatbed seats in business class (compared to 18 in. for the 787-8), 21 in premium economy with more legroom for passengers (42 in. compared to 38 in.) and 249 in economy class (36 additional seats). The 787-9s will have an additional toilet for the premium economy cabin.

“LOT is the first airline in Europe with a long-haul fleet consisting only of Dreamliners,” Milczarski said. “The Dreamliner is the driver of even faster growth of LOT…with the 787-9 significantly increasing the number of seats on the existing, most popular routes. The 787-9 will be perfect for our flagship flights to Chicago, New York City or selected Asian destinations and will enable us to launch completely new routes as well.”

Each seat on the 787-9 is equipped with its own power outlet, a USB port and IFE screen.

The maximum range of the 787-9s provided to LOT is more than 13,350 km (8,295 miles), approximately 700 km more than the 787-8. The engine is Rolls-Royce’s new Trent TEN.

LOT’s existing 787-8s are used on services to New York JFK, New York Newark, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing. The growing fleet means that from the end of April LOT will also use them to operate its flights from Polish regional airport Rzeszów to Newark. From the end of May, the carrier will also use them to operate Warsaw-Singapore and Budapest-New York JFK and Chicago.

LOT carried more than 6.8 million passengers in 2017, a nearly 25% increase over the previous year. The airline forecasts this figure will grow to more than 10 million passengers by 2020.

Eleven aircraft will be added to the fleet in 2018: the two additional 787-9s, three 737 MAX 8s and six Embraer E195s.

(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)

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