LOT Polish May Add Boeing 777s To Fleet

Filed Under: LOT

LOT Polish has been growing significantly lately, adding long haul flights out of both Poland and Hungary (the airline just announced new routes to San Francisco and Washington for this year). However, the airline has been having issues with the engines on some of their 787s, and it seems like they may have found a short to medium term fix.

LOT Polish could get 777s in 2020

Polish media is reporting that LOT Polish will acquire three Boeing 777-200ERs that used to fly for Singapore Airlines. The leases on these planes are up, as Singapore Airlines typically only keeps planes for about a decade, and now they’re once again back in the hands of Boeing Capital Corporation.

Singapore Airlines is replacing their 777-200ERs with A350-900s and 787-10s.

If this is true, it’s expected that LOT Polish will dry lease these planes for three years (meaning their crews would operate the planes), with the first entering service around June 2020.

These 777-200ERs still have the original Singapore Airlines configurations, with 271 seats. That includes 26 business class seats and 245 economy seats. It’s expected that the interiors will remain unchanged, which is great news when you consider the excellent 1-2-1 business class configuration that Singapore Airlines has on their 777s.

This is a significant upgrade over the 2-2-2 business class that LOT Polish has on their 787s.

LOT Polish 787 business class

How would 777s fit into LOT Polish’s fleet?

LOT Polish’s long haul fleet consists of 15 Boeing 787s, including eight 787-8s and seven 787-9s. On top of that, the airline is expected to take delivery of a further two 787-9s in 2020.

LOT Polish 787

The issue is that like many airlines, LOT Polish is facing ongoing issues with 787 engines. For example, currently their flights from Warsaw to New York JFK, Newark, and Toronto, are operated by wet leased Air Belgium A340s. The airline has been wet leasing planes for a couple of years now, and that’s really costly.

Air Belgium A340

So at that point it seems to make more sense for them to just take delivery of their own planes. While it might seem like adding 777s creates unnecessary inconsistency:

  • The lease rates on used 777s are likely much more attractive than acquiring additional new 787s
  • On top of that there’s a backup for 787 orders, so realistically LOT Polish wouldn’t get any additional 787s for at least a couple more years, at a minimum
  • The airline is expanding significantly, and it seems they’re doing so quite successfully, so it seems logical that they’d want to build on that momentum with more growth

Bottom line

It will be interesting to see whether LOT Polish does in fact add 777s to their fleet. Up until now company spokespeople have denied the rumors, though that’s often the case until an official announcement is made. This whole rumor started to begin with because there were reports of LOT Polish crews getting 777 training.

Frankly this seems like a logical move for LOT Polish, given their growth aspirations, combined with their constant wet leasing of planes from other airlines, which is more costly than them just dry leasing planes for longer periods.

What do you make of 777s joining LOT Polish’s fleet?

Comments
  1. Keep in mind that on most airlines pilots who fly the b787 are also flying the 777. The cockpits are mostly the same so training costs are reasonable.

  2. Ben, “LOT Polish” hurts my eyes, sorry. I would suggest “LOT Polish Airlines” or simply “LOT”.
    Fingers crossed for 1-2-1, but I doubt they will keep this configuration.

  3. It is interesting to note that LOT and Poland in general are in LOVE with American products. They never buy from Airbus and even cancelled a previously agreed contract with EU firms and replaced it with American firm. This angered Germany and France a couple of years ago. However they LOVE EU subsidies.

  4. I don’t think this would commercially make too much sense. Their 788 have 252 seats in a three class configuration (J18/W21/Y213) and the 789 have 294 seats (J24/W21/Y249). Operating a much less fuel efficient 772 with just 271 seats and no W class (J26/Y246) would be very inefficient. Perhaps they do a short term lease in order cope with delayed deliveries or engine issues, but it doesn’t make sense as a (semi) permanent solution. If it was more permanent, they would have to reconfigure into a more dense configuration.

  5. @Ben (Lucky)
    Are you sure these will be 1-2-1 configured 777-200ER? I’d fear they get the old SQ business with regional seats.

    @Julia
    Yeah, Poland is acting anti-European (althought it is probably getting the biggest profits out of their membership) and makes itself the b*tch of the US all the time.

  6. These are the 2-2-2 seating configuration in J, so not different from what LOT has today on its 787 series.

  7. Dear Julia: LOT has always been exclusively using Boeing planes because of very good quality of planes, competitive plane prices and comprehensive pilots training from the Boeing Co. Airbus aircrafts are very good but it is too expensive to switch to Airbus planes

  8. Do you get all of your stories from simple flying now? Seems like you post things about 12 hours after they do.

  9. Unfortunately, LOT selected 787 engines from Rolls Royce, which haven’t been reliable since they were first introduced 9 years ago, with no end in sight. All the airlines with RR engines have suffered with substantial aircraft downtime for maintenance ever since. LOT ought to follow the example of Air New Zealand, which switched to GE engines with their latest order.

  10. @Max Rynek Lotniczy, the very trustworthy Polish aviation site which broke the news, is saying they will be the ERs, which are configured in 1-2-1. Only the non-ERs are 2-2-2. Former registrations which match this layout, owned by BCC: 9V-SVI (17.5 yrs), 9V-SVJ (17.4 yrs) and 9V-SVN (16.9 yrs). They also state that LOT wants a better on-board product than AB offers.

  11. I really like Julia’s comment. Well said!
    “LOT”!!! Personally, I don’t fly on this airline. Doesn’t really matter what they would planning to do. They are not a very strong players to change market.
    Number of airlines, which it’s worth to talk about are less than fingers in a hand.

  12. Not sure what sales brochure you read hyping up the SQ aircraft but the reality is they’re very different from the product you’re pitching. Air New Zealand had two of these previous aircraft and they were known as the Singapore sh*tters because they really are end of service aircraft that deserve to be turned into Coke cans except Boeing are offering them up as compensation.

    Massive customer dissatisfaction from NZ customers (makes you wonder how SQ can win awards when they were still flying aircraft like this) who ended up on them.

    2006 SQ J config and Economy is like revisiting 2002 because they’re the original fat seats with lots of legroom. Lovely economy experience though just take your own entertainment because the non touch 4:3 IFE is slow and virtually unusable compared to modern IFE.

    If you think these aircraft are so great you should probably ask the SQ regional pax around the APAC region who have been unlucky enough to have been stuck on these aircraft over the past few years – you’ll get a very different story.

  13. @Julia, @Max, LOT first made the decision to buy Boeing aircraft (B767 to be exact) in 1988 in the final years of communism, after another crash of Soviet-made Il-62M which left nearly 200 people dead, in spite of political considerations (the move outraged the Soviets, as it implied that there was something wrong with their designs), and not because of their love of the US (Polish communist party were certainly no big fans of Reagan). At the time the country was effectively bankrupt, however the Americans offered LOT very favourable financing conditions for the new planes (which Europeans were unwilling to do) so the choice was rather simple. The decision to switch from B767 to B787 (which was made in 2005) was also quite reasonable given the fact that at the time it made no sense to switch from Boeing to Airbus (pilot training costs, plus at this particular point in time Airbus was almost completely focused on A380, and really didn’t have anything interesting to offer).

  14. Btw, I will take standard 2-2-2 flat beds over the SQ 1-2-1 100ft wide seats in which you have to sleep at an unnatural angle with you feet in a tiny hole anytime.

  15. I flew a LOT 2-2-2 787 this summer from EWR to WAW and thought it was great. It helped that the cabin was half empty, but what was really great about it was how much space there was between rows. Rather than a foot hole, there was an “ottoman” which completed the lie flat bed. Very spacious. Slept like a baby on that flight. Took a center section seat so both I and whoever sat next to me (no one, happily) had aisle access. Also the flight attendant on the return I won’t forget anytime soon. I’d fly them again in their current config in a second.

  16. @IvanX Fully after! I fly LOT probably the most of time since I am Warsaw-based and their 787 product maybe isn’t the most modern ( even though all airplanes are mostly brand new or few years old), but their beds are really comfortable, large, wide, with massive legroom and service is really really good – catering and wine selection is great. I know there are talks about changing Business Class product but no details are mentioned.

  17. LAN leased an ex-SIA 772 a year or so ago and I had the misfortune of flying it from GRU to SCL in Dec. 2018. Seats were old and angled and many were not functional. It was a long three hours flight to SCL. I would not want to take a similar aircraft ever again.

  18. SQ’s lasts 77E have the older version of the Regional product in C. I’m not too sure it’s an upgrade for the passengers…

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