5-Jun-2013 3:49 AM

IATA AGM 2013: LOT long-haul operation to return to normal in Aug-2013

LOT Polish Airlines CEO Sebastian Mikosz told (04-Jun-2013) CAPA on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting in Cape Town that the carrier’s long-haul operation will be back to normal by the end of Aug-2013 after being impacted for several months by the grounding of its 787 fleet. Mr Mikosz says LOT had to extend leases on its fleet of 767s and wet-lease aircraft in order to maintain its long-haul network after the global 787 fleet was grounded in Jan-2013. “It created a huge mess. The grounding for us was a much bigger problem than for other carriers,” Mr Mikosz says. Other 787 operators do not rely as heavily as LOT on the 787 for their long-haul operations. LOT resumed 787 operations on 01-Jun-2013 and currently has a fleet of three 787s. Mr Mikosz says LOT will have a fleet of five 787s by the end of Aug-2013. He says LOT’s sixth and final 787 will be delivered in 1H2014, allowing it to add in summer 2014 frequencies to New York and Chicago. The carrier currently serves four long-haul destinations, New York, Chicago, Toronto and Beijing, with a mix of 787s and 767s. The 767s are now slated to be phased out later this year.