LOT to lease up to fifteen B737s

LOT Polish Airlines has unveiled its narrowbody fleet renovation plan, with up to fifteen B737s to join the fleet during the course of 2017 and beyond.

A LOT 737-400. Copyright: Kuba Bożanowski

The polish carrier said in a statement that it has agree to lease four B737-800s from AerCap with deliveries to begin from April next year. It also has the option to convert the orders to MAX variants should the need arise.

In another agreement, it has also agreed to lease six B737 MAX 8s from Air Lease Corporation with option for an additional five of the type. The first aircraft of the order will arrive in November 2017 with the second arriving a month later.

With the lifting of EC-imposed network and capacity growth restrictions in January this year, LOT has set about trying to recapture market share it has lost not only internationally, but also locally and regionally.

“Although we are getting the new B737 MAX 8 in record time, we need additional aircraft that we can use as early as the coming summer season,” CEO Rafal Milczarski said. “Thanks to the attractive lease terms we got on the four second-hand B737-800s, we can quickly make up for lost time, increasing our offering on some of our most popular routes while opening up new connections, such as Central Asia.”

At present, LOT employs an eclectic mix of aircraft including three B737-400s, six B787-8s, ten Dash 8-400s, six EMB-170s, fourteen EMB-175s, and six EMB-195s. To supplement this summer’s fleet, it leased a Fokker 100 from Romania’s Carpatair.

Last month, Milczarski said the carrier has revised its long term plan, which now sees the airline operating a fleet of seventy aircraft, sixteen of which will be 787s, by 2020.

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