LOT Polish Cancels Flights To Eastern Europe As Ban Extended

LOT Polish Airlines, the flag carrier of Poland, has cancelled a whole range of its services following the planned decision by Poland to extend its ban on international flights until 25th August. The ban could cover a total of 45 countries, some of which are important markets for LOT Polish Airlines.

LOT Polish Airlines
LOT Polish Airlines has canceled a whole range of services following news that Poland might extend the flight ban. Photo: Getty Images

The flight ban

The First News reports that the Polish government wants to extend its ban on international flights until 25th August, as COVID-19 cases continue to spread at an increasing rate in Europe. 45 countries are on the proposed list, which the Polish government published as a draft decree last Friday.

The 45 countries belonging to the list are:

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Saint Thomas and Prince, Russia, Brazil, Andorra, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Swaziland, Mexico, Israel, Qatar, Kuwait, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Gabon, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, Kosovo, Costa Rica, Macedonia, Maldives, Moldova, Panama, Peru, South Africa, El Salvador, Serbia, Singapore, Suriname, Cape Verde, Romania, United States, Oman, Luxembourg, Bolivia, and the Bahamas.

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LOT Polish Airlines
LOT Polish Airlines normally operates scheduled services to the majority of the countries on the list. Photo: Getty Images

Impact on LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines’ Eastern European services are most affected by this flight ban. For example, in Belgrade and Skopje, the capitals of Serbia and North Macedonia respectively, LOT Polish Airlines will not be resuming flights until September.

Services to Podgorica, the capital of the European country of Montenegro, are all canceled for the remainder of the 2020 summer season. The next available LOT Polish Airlines flight from Warsaw to Podgorica is in late October, when the winter season starts.

As for Russia, the next flight bookable in LOT Polish Airlines’ systems is not until Monday 31st August. This is when an Embraer ERJ-175 will fly from Warsaw Chopin Airport to Moscow Sheremetyevo – A.S. Pushkin International Airport.

Services to Armenia, to Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport, will not resume until Monday 26th October, though this date is likely to be postponed too given that no restrictions have so far been put into place for flights between Poland and Armenia in September and October.

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 737-400
LOT Polish Airlines is normally present in several of the markets that have been included on Poland’s list. Photo: Getty Images

What has LOT Polish been up to?

Despite this, not all of developments related to COVID-19 have been negative for LOT Polish Airlines. For example, the airline recently engaged in a major expansion to the airports positioned along the Croatian coast.

In this instance, at short notice, LOT Polish Airlines has launched 13 new routes to Split, Dubrovnik, and Zadar. This was to cover for markets that have been left unfilled by various canceled services, especially by Ryanair.

How do you think such wide-ranging flight bans will impact regional airlines across the world? Do you think this crisis will lead to more bankruptcies in Europe, regardless of government financial support to national airlines? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.

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