LOT Polish Airlines has scheduled the launch of its new Warsaw – San Francisco route for June 2021. The route was originally scheduled to start in 2020, but COVID-19 prompted LOT Polish to postpone the flights. The route is a part of LOT’s ambition to turn Warsaw into a major European transfer hub, and it comes after the USA
2nd June 2021 is the launch date
Starting on Wednesday 2nd June 2021, the Polish national airline and flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines has scheduled four weekly flights on a new route between its hub, Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). On the way to the US, the flight will take 11 hours and 55 minutes. On the way back, the 787 is scheduled to take 11 hours and 35 minutes to reach Warsaw.
All four weekly flights are scheduled to be operated with LOT’s Boeing 787 aircraft. The route is planned as a year-round done, meaning that the route will be maintained twelve months a year. LOT releases its flight tickets on a rolling basis, so flights are already on sale all the way up to Saturday 6th November 2021, which is already within the winter schedule 2021/2022.
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Different departure times for different days
Two of LOT’s four weekly San Francisco flights will depart Warsaw in the morning while the other two will depart in the afternoon. In both cases, flights are timed to match LOT’s transfer waves for both arrivals and departures.
On Mondays and Fridays, flight LO35 will depart Warsaw at 11:35 to arrive in San Francisco at 14:30. LOT’s Dreamliner aircraft will then fly back as flight LO36 departing San Francisco at 16:25 to arrive in Warsaw at 13:00 the next day.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, flight LO37 will depart Warsaw at 17:20 and arrive in San Francisco at 20:15. The return flight will then depart San Francisco at 22:10 to arrive in Warsaw at 18:45 the next day as flight LO38.
Second attempt at this route
Originally, LOT Polish had scheduled the launch of the Warsaw – San Francisco route for August 2020. The launch was announced in early October 2019. This was just days after Donald Trump had officially announced that Poland was to be nominated into the US’s visa waiver program.
LOT Polish Airlines CEO Rafał Milczarski commented on this at the time, saying:
“San Francisco has been on our list of new destinations for some time already; however, it is no coincidence that we have decided to announce this connection right now. September 30th Poland has officially joined the Visa Waiver Program, so that soon American visas for Poles will become a thing of the past. I am delighted that our social campaign “No Visas to the USA” that we initiated in 2018 has contributed to this success. We do believe that now Poles will be more willing to travel to the United States for both tourist and business purposes. And the choice is abundant indeed – from now on, together with its new connection to San Francisco, LOT offers as many as 11 direct flights to the United States – both from Poland and Hungary.”
The route launch was postponed due to COVID-19, but the re-scheduling for June 2021 shows that LOT Polish is keen to go ahead with the route fairly quickly.
Do you think LOT Polish is right to estimate that these flights have year-round potential? Is 2021 too soon to be launching new routes in the current climate of the aviation industry? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.