LOT Polish Airlines reportedly plans to cut around 12 routes which are unprofitable as part of the European Commission’s requirements to allow the Polish Government to provide financial aid to the carrier (Gazeta.pl, 11-Jun-2013). The airline reportedly plans to reduce its over number of services it operates each year by 25% with its 15 Embraer aircraft to be withdrawn from its fleet. Two of the airline’s six Boeing 787-8 aircraft which are to join the airline’s fleet by spring 2014 will be leased to other carriers. LOT’s workforce will also reportedly be reduced by 800 including flight crew and administrative staff. The airline has already laid off 300 of its 2100 staff. The measures are in an effort to return the airline to profitability in 2015, after which the Polish Government may privatise its stake in the carrier.
LOT Polish Airlines reportedly to cut around 12 routes
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LOT currently ranks behind LCCs Ryanair and Wizz Air by share of traffic in Poland, which offers superior traffic growth potential versus Europe as a whole. The airline aims to increase passenger numbers from 4.3 million in 2015 to 10 million in 2020, growing its fleet from 43 to 70 aircraft. LOT's expansion will focus on long haul, particularly North America and Asia, where it currently has only five routes and where competition is considerably lower than on short/medium haul. Initial plans include the launch of Warsaw-Seoul this winter and a return to Warsaw-New York Newark next summer.
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