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The jubilee of LOT Polish Airlines. It’s who you travel with. 95 years, a world of possibilities

Published : Wednesday, January 3, 2024, 11:41 am
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- LOT Polish Airlines’ beginnings in the global skies

1st January 1929 saw the establishment of "Linje Lotnicze LOT". The company was formed by the merger of two private carriers: Aerolot and Aero, thus creating one of the world’s oldest airlines that is still in business. In the same year, Tadeusz Gronowski, one of the most eminent graphic designers, conceived the LOT Polish Airlines logo – a stylised silhouette of a crane embedded in a circle, which has been the airline’s symbol for an uninterrupted 95 years.

The inter-war period saw spectacular growth for LOT. Under the leadership of Colonel Wacław Makowski, the airline acquired new aircraft and launched connections, linking cities from Finnish Helsinki to Lydda in Israel as part of the Baltic Line.

In 1938, director Makowski, as commander and first pilot, made a flight of 24,850 kilometres from Burbank near Los Angeles to Warsaw. The flight served as a trial for a regular service from Warsaw to North America scheduled for 1940, and was completed in a newly acquired Lockheed L-14H Super Electra aircraft with the signs SP-LMK.

After the end of World War II, LOT Polish Airlines underwent a rebirth: although, as a carrier from behind the Iron Curtain, its operations were limited to those destinations important to the authorities of the time. What was a crucial moment was the acquisition by LOT of long-haul IŁ-62 aircraft, which enabled the carrier to launch connections to the most important destinations for the Polish community in Canada and the United States 50 years ago. At the end of the 1980s, yet another major change arrived at LOT. The obsolete Soviet aircraft were gradually replaced by modern American aircraft – first Boeing 767s, later 737s. At the same time, five-person cockpit crews were reduced to two-person crews. The regional fleet was supplemented by Embraer regional aircraft debuting at the time, and in 2013, the carrier opted to replace the Boeing 767s with the world’s most advanced wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

- LOT Polish Airlines today and tomorrow

Today, LOT Polish Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in the world. Its highly experienced pilots take modern and comfortable aircraft into the sky every single day, providing passengers with a host of safe and comfortable travel solutions. Year after year, the Airline is thriving, expanding its flight network to include new destinations and proving that it matters who you travel with, as we have always been proudly promoting Polish hospitality and traditions.

This year’s anniversary of LOT Polish Airlines is a source of pride and an excellent opportunity to thank all those who have created our company over the course of nearly a century. Drawing on the experience and achievements of past decades, LOT is looking to the future. We are facing numerous challenges and tough decisions in a highly competitive global market where the margin of error is really small. We are ahead of making fleet-related decisions and safeguarding human and infrastructural resources to enable the continued profitable growth of the national carrier. The past year confirmed that LOT is a modern company capable of achieving great results. Delivering the company’s 2024 – 2028 strategy will necessitate long-term, careful commercial policy, and upholding cost discipline, says Michał Fijoł, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines.

In the next few years, the Company is looking to focus on delivering the 2024 – 2028 strategy. LOT Polish Airlines will have even a greater number of modern aircraft and will open more profitable routes. Within the framework of social responsibility, the carrier will concentrate on sustainability transformation and cooperation with the scientific and academic community, the business world and on supporting the development of the tourism market.

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