Polish flag carrier LOT expects to receive next year five Boeing 787s, which it will use to start replacing its Boeing 767-300ERs and potentially launch new Asian routes.
A LOT spokesman tells ATI and Flightglobal the Star Alliance carrier has "just received information from Boeing" that its first 787 is now scheduled for delivery in April 2012. He says another four 787s will follow in 2012 but precise delivery dates have not yet been provided by the manufacturer.
LOT first placed an order in 2005 for seven Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-powered 787s and in 2007 ordered one additional aircraft. Originally the aircraft were to be delivered from 2008 but the carrier has been affected by the numerous delays to the 787 programme. As of late last year, LOT was expecting 787 deliveries to begin in November 2011.
The spokesman says LOT does not yet have dates for its final three 787s. He says the eight 787s will be used to replace the carrier's five 767-300ERs as well as for growth. He says LOT is now working on a retirement plan for its 767s.
LOT currently uses its 767s to operate from Warsaw to New York JFK, Newark, Toronto and Hanoi. The Hanoi service was launched late last year and LOT has said it is looking to add more destinations in Asia as part of a new strategy focusing on the east.
The spokesman says the 787s "give us an opportunity to make new points in Asia". LOT manager of network and fleet development Wojciech Jagiello says the carrier is specifically looking at markets in China and Japan.
Speaking to ATI at the Network USA conference in Austin, Texas, Jagiello says LOT is also examining adding new US destinations in 2013 or later. He adds the carrier in particular is interested in Boston, Miami, Washington DC and Detroit.
Jagiello says introducing new US flights depends on the US government adding Poland to its visa waiver programme. Since Poland's entry into the EU in 2004, Jagiello says Polish leisure travellers have been primarily opting to head to Western Europe instead of the US.
In addition to its five 767s, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database LOT now operates two Boeing 737-400s, four 737-500s, 10 Embraer E-170s, 12 E-175s and three Embraer ERJ-145s. LOT also has four E-195s on order, having last year converted its remaining E-175 orders to the larger E-195.
The LOT spokesman says the first E-195 is slated for delivery at the end of March or beginning of April. He says the E-195s will be used to supplement 737-500s in LOT's European network.
In addition to preparing for E-195s and 787s, LOT has been preparing for a potential privatisation. Last October ATI reported that LOT was aiming for a third quarter 2011 privatisation and had hired JP Morgan as an advisor to help determine if it should pursue an IPO or sell a stake to another carrier.