LOT Polish Airlines puts its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner into revenue service, seeks state aid

LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) put its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (SP-LRA, msn 35938) into revenue service today (December 14). The company issued the following statement:

At 8:00 a.m. today, LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner SP-LRA took off from the Chopin Airport in Warsaw on its first scheduled flight to Prague. It is the first commercial flight of the LOT Dreamliner (and the first by an European carrier).

Flight LO 523 from Warsaw to Prague lasted 57 minutes. On board there were 175 passengers for whom LOT had prepared special certificates commemorating this first extraordinary flight. For the return flight, 149 passengers have been booked. The plane is planned to take off from Prague airport at 10:05 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Warsaw at 11:10 a.m.

The Dreamliner will fly to Prague on selected dates from mid-December to mid-January, 2013. The upcoming flights are scheduled to operate on December 15, 16, 18, 19, 20 and 28. The four remaining dates are January 2, 11, 12 and 14, 2013.

The flight to Prague kicked off a series of promotional flights in Europe, at which time the Dreamliner will visit nine European cities in total: Prague, London, Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Hannover, Kiev, Budapest and Brussels.

LOT Polish 787-8 SP-LRA (11)(Cabin)(GST)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Gordon Stretch. The cabin of SP-LRA is seen on one of the promotional flights in Europe.

We have decided to operate the first Dreamliner flight to Prague, as it is a one-hour flight only from Warsaw and it seems ideal for the first “neighborly” visit of LOT Dreamliner in Europe. Actually, it will not be the only flight to Prague – the Dreamliner will visit the Czech capital a number of times – says Zbigniew Mazur, acting LOT CEO. I am glad passengers from the Czech Republic will be the first to experience the comfort of travel on board the world’s most modern passenger plane belonging to the Polish carrier – adds Zbigniew Mazur.

As we have mentioned previously, the first trans-Atlantic flight of LOT Dreamliner will be operated to Chicago (O’Hare) on January 16, 2013. Its next destination will be Toronto (Pearson) on February 1, 2013. On February 3, passengers will fly aboard the Dreamliner to New York (JFK), and Beijing will welcome the LOT Boeing 787 one month later on March 3, 2013.

In other news on the financial side, LOT Polish has requested state financial aid. According to this report by the Wall Street Journal, LOT Polish Airlines has filed a request for state aid, the first installment of 400 million zlotys ($125 million) according to the Polish government. LOT, which was close to bankruptcy in 2009, lost money in 2011 and is expected to post another loss for 2012. The CEO of the company has resigned.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner SP-LRA is seen at Paine Field near Everett prior to the official handover.

LOT Polish Airlines: AG Slide Show