LOT Polish Airlines has today announced it will begin services to Washington DC from its hub at Poland’s capital Warsaw. The flights will operate three times per week using LOT’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and will bring the airline up to 10 route s between Poland and the United States.
Details of the flights
LOT Polish has announced a three-times-weekly service from Warsaw (WAW) to Washington (IAD), starting June 2nd 2020. The flight will operate as follows:
- From Warsaw: Flight LO39 will depart at 16:50, arriving into IAD at 20:30
- From Washington: Flight LO40 will depart at 22:25, arriving into WAW at 13:25 (+1 day)
The flights will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays for the duration of the summer season. Rafał Milczarski, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, commented in a release sent to Simple Flying,
“A direct flight from Warsaw to Washington D.C. has long been on our “short list”. In the course of extensive business analyses, we focused not only on the very fact of connecting the capitals of Poland and the U.S., but also on the tourist and business potential offered by this connection which has been growing with each year. Moreover, so far Central and Eastern Europe has lacked such a convenient connection to Washington D.C. New long-haul flights to the USA are the backbone of our strategy and announcing the new connection to Washington now certainly is not our last word.”
The flights will be operated using LOT’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners. It operates both the 787-8 and 787-9 but has not specified as yet which variant will be used for the flights. Regardless of the type, passengers can expect fully flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 layout, and the usual Dreamliner comfort throughout.
LOT is the final Star Alliance carrier to launch a route to the heavily alliance-populated Washington Dulles Airport, giving passengers a huge range of onward connection choices.
More US routes to come?
It’s interesting that Mr. Milczarski says that this will not be the airline’s “last word” on the US. Including Washington, LOT will fly to seven US destinations from Warsaw, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. In addition to this, it offers services from Krakow to Chicago and New York, as well as Rzeszow to New York.
Although some of these services won’t start until summer 2020, we can expect them to be hugely popular with Polish travelers. Not only is the US market really starting to open up for Polish tourism, but the country also recently secured a spot in the USA’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) making it quick and easy to holiday in the States. Milczarski said,
“Our decision to announce yet another connection to the U.S. this year was also influenced by the fact that on 11th November Poland joined the VWP. It is a great success of the President of Poland Mr. Andrzej Duda as well as Polish diplomacy and a milestone in Polish-American relationship. I am delighted that our social campaign “Let’s visit USA without visas” that we initiated in 2018 has also contributed to this historic success.
“Now Poles can easily travel to the USA for tourist and business purposes without a visa. The new connection perfectly complements our offer of direct flights to North America, and of course significantly strengthens our flight network with regard to flights to the United States.”
Of course, this rapid US expansion is also giving LOT a foothold in another lucrative market: Asia. With flights to Singapore, Delhi, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Colombo, LOT is quietly building a cross-continent network to rival that of the established Middle Eastern carriers. With a new airport set to be built in Poland, LOT has its sights firmly set on becoming a new transfer airline for passengers making the long trip between east and west.