LOT sees maturity of 787 systems within 18 months: CEO

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LOT Polish Airlines chief executive Sebastian Mikosz sees another 15 to 18 months before its Boeing 787-8 fleet performs at its top specifications.

“I know we will still improve the technical dispatch reliability for the next 15 to 18 months,” he says at a media briefing in Chicago today. “It will only achieve maximum performance in the next year or two.”

The Warsaw-based Star Alliance carrier suffered from performance issues with its 787s after the type returned to the skies following a three-month grounding in 2013.

“This year was a real turn year,” says Mikosz on the aircraft’s performance in 2014. “Last year was horrible.”

Boeing chief executive James McNerney said that the 787’s software needed additional “de-bugging” in January. The aircraft’s dispatch reliability was around 98%, he said.

The maturity of the aircraft’s software is part and parcel with the overall maturity of the aircraft, says Mikosz.

Boeing has an “almost permanent” team of technicians based in Warsaw to assist LOT with the 787, he adds.

LOT is happy with its 787s, despite the issues.

With the aircraft averaging about 19.5h of utilisation daily, Mikosz says: “We are very happy with the results.”

LOT uses its six 787s for scheduled flights to Beijing, Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK and Toronto, and for charter services to leisure destinations including Cuba, Thailand and Vietnam.

The airline has firm orders for two more 787-8s with deliveries scheduled in 2016 and 2017, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows. It’s has commitments for another eight 787-9s.