LOT POLISH AIRLINES, virtually trebled profits in 1995, helped by soaring traffic figures - especially on its fast-growing domestic network.

The Polish carrier ended the year with net profits of Pzl6 million ($2 million), as passenger numbers rose by 16%, to 1.8 million.

Flights to Central European destinations grew the fastest (although these make up only 3.5% of LOT's business), but domestic services put in the star performance, showing a revenue growth of 22%.

A dramatic expansion in charter flights, especially during the winter season, also helped the carrier make better use of its fleet. Load factors climbed by three points, to 69.6%.

LOT says that it has now sold all its remaining Tupolev Tu-154s to unspecified clients, mostly in Central Asia. The airline now flies only Boeing 737s and 767s and ATR 72 turboprops.

Overall, the airline's sales rose by 26%, to above the Pzl1 billion mark, while costs were contained, growing more slowly at 21%.

Source: Flight International