Read today on ATW email...
LOT Polish Airlines plans to cut fleet, jobs
LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787. By Kurt Hofmann
LOT Polish Airlines received a $127 million emergency government loan
last month in a bid to continue operations. The Polish government, 93% majority owner, plans to reduce the size of the flag carrier, hoping to make the company profitable again.
A Wall Street Journal Europe
report, which quoted a cabinet minister just days after the airline received the state loan, said it would shed more assets to keep operating. However, Poland Prime Minister Donald Tusk had said earlier the government would not try to save LOT at any price.
The financially troubled carrier plans to cut staff numbers by 30% and reduce its fleet from 40 to 25 aircraft, returning them to leasing companies.
A LOT management source in Warsaw told ATW
: “I can’t say anything about the fact that LOT has to shrink, but the ministry of treasury will tell us what will happen. I expect an announcement in the next days.”
LOT’s passenger numbers fell 20% in the 2012 fourth quarter, leaving LOT with a year-end deficit of PLN200 million ($64.9 million). LOT lost about PLN145 million in 2011 and PLN163 million in 2010.
The Star Alliance member has been looking for potential investors for years without success.
LOT, which is the first European Boeing 787
customer, has taken delivery of the first of two of the type. The Dreamliner flies to Prague and will launch Warsaw-Chicago scheduled services Jan. 16. By the end of March, five 787s are expected to join the fleet.
LOT sales director Tomasz Dakowski told ATW
last month the carrier will phase out
its last three 737-400s and 767 aircraft. LOT’s final 767 flight will launch March 3.