Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

LOT Polish Airlines' regional subsidiary EuroLOT will begin building up its own turboprop fleet with the acquisition of "at least" two aircraft this year.

The Warsaw-based company, which has been using its parent's eight 64-seat Aero International (Regional) ATR 72s, says that it wants to begin by leasing a smaller type with 30- to 45 seats. The ATR 72 is too big for some lower traffic density services, and is too large to serve small regional airports such as Bydgoszcz and Rzeszow.

The ATR 42, Saab 340 and Bombardier de Havilland Dash 8-200 are under consideration, and the airline says that talks on the fleet procurement are in the final stages. The first two aircraft will be followed by orders for two more in 1999, and one or two in 2000.

The airline has completed training its first cockpit crews, who will now begin to take over from LOT pilots on EuroLOT ATR 72 services. Plans to add regional jets are not expected to bear fruit before the turn of the century.

EuroLOT serves five domestic destinations from Warsaw: Cracow, Gdansk, Poznan, Szczecin and Wroclaw.

Source: Flight International