LOT Polish Airlines is so frustrated with Boeing over Boeing 787 issues and the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft that it is considering becoming an Airbus customer. The airline has a goal to unify its fleet by the year 2030, so is there really a possibility that it could become an Airbus-only operator by then?
LOT Polish Airlines is not overly happy with Boeing
Polish weekly news magazine Polityka says that LOT Polish Airlines is reportedly so frustrated with Boeing for not paying compensation for the MAX grounding that it may soon become an Airbus operator.
LOT Polish Airlines, the Polish flag carrier, has a fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 737 MAX 8s, Boeing 737-800s, and Embraer E195, E190, E175, and E170 aircraft.
The airline did not receive any compensation for the grounding of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Boeing, which LOT was reliant on for its rapid expansion strategy.
Furthermore, the Boeing 787s are having ongoing issues which has caused operational difficulties for LOT Polish Airlines. These difficulties included the delay of a new long-haul route launch to China.
Acquiring Airbus aircraft is on the cards
As a result of the issues with both the 737s and the 787s, LOT is now actively thinking of purchasing Airbus aircraft. Krzysztof Moczulski, a spokesman for LOT, said:
“Airbus is definitely in the game. This of course does not cancel the existing suppliers, Boeing and Embraer.”
LOT Polish Airlines is one of just a few European airlines that does not use Airbus aircraft.
If the airline does follow through with its desire to unify its fleet by 2030, then it could replace all its Boeing 737 and 737 MAX aircraft with Airbus A320 family aircraft, and its Embraer aircraft with the A220. The 787 could be replaced by A350s. But this would mean a complete fleet change, and this is unlikely because many of the aircraft in LOT’s fleet are relatively new.
LOT Polish is considering a lawsuit
LOT Polish Airlines did not receive any compensation for its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft being grounded for two years because there are no written guarantees in its leasing contract that compensation is due as a result of technical problems.
Boeing is now relying on this fact to deny LOT Polish the compensation that the airline wants to receive. Although the matter appears reasonably straightforward, LOT does not think so. Krzysztof Moczulski, the spokesman, said:
“We are in the process of negotiations, but at the same time we are considering a lawsuit.”
Simple Flying reached out to Boeing for their input on the situation, but had not received a response at the time of publication.
Do you think LOT will ultimately purchase Airbus aircraft?