LOT Polish Airlines Retires Its Last Boeing 737-400

LOT Polish Airlines has said goodbye to its last Boeing 737-400. The aircraft flew its final flight on 10 March after almost 23 years of service, during which time it flew with a number of different airlines.

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 737-400
LOT Polish Airlines’ last Boeing 737-400 flew its final flight on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Salard via Wikimedia Commons

Polish flag carrier, LOT Polish Airlines, posted on Facebook yesterday to commemorate the final flight of its last remaining Boeing 737-400. For its final journey, the aircraft operated a short return trip from Poland’s capital Warsaw to the country’s second city Kraków.

According to FlightRadar24 data, the LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 737-400, registered SP-LLG, took off from Warsaw Chopin Airport at 10:55 on Tuesday morning, making the short flight to Kraków.

After just over half an hour in the air, flight LO3907 landed in Kraków at 11:29. Following a brief stop at Kraków airport, the aircraft then took off on its final flight for LOT at 12:39. Listed as LAST734, the flight took 38 minutes, landing in Warsaw at 13:16.

Flight LAST734. Image: FlightRadar24

SP-LLG’s journey

SP-LLG was first delivered to LOT Polish Airlines way back in June 1997. According to Airfleets, the airline has operated a total of 14 different Boeing 737-400s over the years. SP-LLG, like a couple of other LOT Polish Airlines’ Boeing 737-400s, served more than one active stint in the airline’s fleet.

After being delivered in June 1997, SP-LLG flew with LOT Polish Airlines for just under seven years before being leased out to Aegean Airlines in February 2004. The aircraft stayed with Aegean Airlines for two years, before serving another two brief lease stints with the now-defunct Centralwings and Dolphin Air.

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 737-400
The aircraft first joined LOT Polish Airlines back in 1997. Photo: Getty Images

After this, SP-LLG returned to LOT in April 2009, serving two years with LOT’s charter arm, before moving back into the regular LOT Polish Airlines fleet. In 2017 the aircraft was briefly leased to Estonia’s flag carrier Nordica for two months.

What will be replacing the Boeing 737-400?

The Boeing 737-400 may have been retired from LOT Polish Airlines’ fleet, but there are still a number of other NG variants in active service. Alongside a Boeing 737-700 and seven Boeing 737-800s, LOT Polish Airlines also owns five Boeing 737 MAX. Although these Boeing 737 MAX have been grounded for over a year now, LOT Polish Airlines hasn’t canceled its remaining order for eight more of the type.

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 737-400
The coronavirus outbreak will likely affect LOT Polish Airlines’ plans for the rest of the year. Photo: Warman Keynes via Wikimedia Commons

Before the coronavirus outbreak rocked the aviation industry around the world, LOT Polish Airlines was planning a period of major growth for the coming year. The airline signed an agreement to wet lease four Airbus A320s from Avion Express at the end of last year. The lease began on 14 January and is set to run until 31 May. Unfortunately for LOT Polish Airlines, this lease has coincided with the worst effects of the coronavirus outbreak. The airline also recently bought ex-Thomas Cook airline Condor.

Although it remains to be seen how the airline will perform throughout the rest of the year, coronavirus will undoubtedly have a significant impact on its financial performance and any plans it did have for expansion will be impacted as a result.