LOT Polish Eyes Huge Croatian Expansion

LOT Polish Airlines will launch 13 new routes to Croatia in the next two weeks, to the coastal cities of Split, Dubrovnik, and Zadar. It will also resume already existing services. Let’s take a look at the Polish flag carrier’s major expansion plans.

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 737-400
LOT Polish Airlines is embarking on a major Croatian expansion. Photo: Getty Images

The new routes

As is visible from LOT Polish Airlines’ booking systems, the Polish flag carrier is about to launch an incredible thirteen new routes to Croatia, to the coastal Adriatic cities of Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar. All thirteen routes are being launched at short notice, with most taking off next week already. This is a major expansion, and it complements the three routes that LOT Polish Airlines is resuming to Croatia in July anyhow.

The new routes are as follows. From Split Airport, which recently opened a new terminal, the destinations are:

  • Gdańsk / Danzig
  • Katowice
  • Lublin
  • Poznań

All these routes will be operated by LOT’s Embraer RJ-195 and Boeing 737 aircraft, once weekly.

From Split to Katowice, LOT Polish Airlines will compete with Wizz Air and Smartwings. LOT might emerge with a significant market share nevertheless because it is selling tickets for as little as $14, while its rivals are selling them for an average July fare of $50.

SmartWings Boeing 737-800 taxiing at Corfu airport
Smartwings, Wizz Air, and LOT Polish Airlines will compete on the routes from Poland to Croatia. Photo: Getty Images

From Dubrovnik Airport, which is seeing a drastic reduction in flight capacity on offer, including a postponed launch of Qatar Airways’ Doha-Dubrovnik service, LOT Polish Airlines will fly to these destinations:

  • Wroclaw
  • Gdańsk / Danzig
  • Poznań
  • Krakow

All of these routes are currently scheduled on LOT’s Embraer RJ-195 aircraft, once weekly.

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New LOT Polish routes from Zadar

Lastly, from Zadar Airport, the fourth largest airport in Croatia and also located on the Adriatic coast, LOT Polish Airlines will fly to the following destinations:

  • Krakow
  • Bydgoszcz
  • Gdańsk / Danzig
  • Rzeszów
  • Szczecin

All routes will fly once weekly with Embraer RJ-195 and Dash 8-400 aircraft.

Zadar Airport will be particularly appreciative of these new routes because it has suffered a major blow this year when Ryanair’s Lauda canceled indefinitely the launch of a base in Zadar. Lauda planned to station three Airbus A320 aircraft in Zadar. Ryanair accounts for more than half of Zadar Airport’s annual traffic, despite only operating flights there on a seasonal basis.

Ryanair Lauda Zadar Croatia base A320
Lauda and Ryanair cancelled most of their routes to Zadar in Croatia this year, and LOT Polish Airlines is stepping in. Photo: Getty Images

LOT Polish Airlines is social distancing

As Simple Flying reported last month, LOT Polish Airlines has returned to the skies with several health and safety measures added in to instill confidence among the passengers. Published measures include mandatory mask-wearing and limiting onboard interaction.

However, LOT Polish is also implementing staggered social distancing, as is visible from its booking systems. This major expansion out of several Polish airports to the coastal destinations in Croatia is a sign that LOT Polish believes its safety measures will be enough to lure passengers to go on holiday with them.

What do you think of LOT Polish Airlines’ expansion in Croatia this summer? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.