LOT Polish Airlines’ CEO, Rafał Milczarski, has hinted that his airline is considering buying Airbus A220s and A350s. Speaking at the Air Market Congress today, Mr. Milczarski said that LOT Polish Airlines is interested in buying the aircraft if Airbus give a “good offer”.
The CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, Rafał Milczarski, announced his airline’s interest in two of Airbus’ European-made aircraft at the Air Market Congress event in Warsaw today. According to reports by Aeronews.ro, Mr. Milczarski today encouraged Airbus to take LOT Polish Airlines “seriously as its potential client”.
LOT Polish Airlines is considering either the Airbus A350-900, A350-1000 or the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, according to comments at today’s event. Mr. Milczarski also reiterated the airline’s stance on the Boeing 737 MAX groundings, saying,
“We will demand compensation from Boeing for MAX grounding. We don’t give any details yet, but when they return to service, it will be time to summarize the costs.”
LOT Polish Airlines owns a total of five Boeing 737 MAX which have been put out of action as a result of the worldwide groundings.
The airline also has an option to buy five more Boeing 737 MAX through Air Lease Corporation. Rafał Milczarski confirmed in June that the airline will not be canceling this order.
LOT Polish Airlines’ vision for the future
LOT Polish Airlines has grand plans. It has announced its ambition to become a rival to the airlines of the Middle East airlines through an extensive expansion plan.
It will use a planned $10 billion airport, which will replace Warsaw’s Chopin Airport, as its base for international expansion. The new airport will reportedly be able to handle 45 million passengers per year and as many as 100 million passengers in the future.
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LOT has also recently unveiled a number of new routes out of its Budapest hub. The airline will serve a number of European destinations from Budapest, including Belgrade, Brussels, Bucharest, Prague, Sofia and Stuttgart, as well as long-haul flights to Seoul, South Korea.
LOT Polish Airlines has enjoyed strong growth over the past few years, and was the fastest-growing of Central Europe’s top 10 Airlines in 2018, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation.
What does LOT Polish Airlines see in the Airbus A220 and A350?
As an airline which wants to compete with the best, LOT Polish Airlines will need aircraft which can attract customers with modern interiors. It will also need fuel-efficient aircraft which will enable it to run its fleet as efficiently as possible.
The Airbus A220 and the Airbus A350 are two of Airbus’ newest aircraft in very different sectors, and they’re in high demand.
With the Airbus A350, LOT Polish Airlines would have an up-market long haul aircraft to serve destinations in Asia. It would also be perfect for the new US destination LOT has confirmed it will be launching.
The Airbus A220, meanwhile, would be an ideal foundation for LOT’s European network, as it attempts to further establish itself on the Continent.