LOT Polish Airlines
LOT (Polskie Linie Lotnicze) is an airline based in Poland. The company employs 4,200 people and reaches 49 destinations in 31 countries. Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport is their home base and main hub. The name Polskie Linie Lotnicze means Polish Airlines, while LOT means 'the flight' in Polish.
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Accepted into IATA in 1930, its first international service began on April 1 of that year, to Bucharest, followed by Athens, Beirut and Helsinki. Douglas DC-2, Lockheed L-10A Electra and L.14H Super Electra joined the fleet in 1935, 1936 and 1938 respectively (at the peak, LOT had 10 L-10, 9 L-14, 3 DC-2 and 1 Ju 52/3mge).
Service was suspended during the Second World War, and all of LOT's aircraft were either destroyed or detained. In 1945, seven years after the service was suspened, the airline restarted its operation after receiving 10 Lisunov Li-2, then further Li-2 and 9 Douglas C-47. Domestic service restarted on April 1, 1945, while international service restarted on May 11, 1945.
Five SNCASE SE.161 Languadocs joined the fleet in July 1947, followed by the Ilyushin Il-12B in April 1949 and newer Ilyushin Il-14s in 1955. The Convair 240 and Vickers Viscount were first acquired in October 1957 and November 1962.
During Poland's period of communist rule, the composition of the fleet shifted to Soviet aircraft. The Ilyushin Il-18 was introduced in May 1961, leading to the establishment of routes to Africa and Middle East. The Antonov An-24 was delivered in April 1966, followed by the Tupolev Tu-134 in November 1968 and the Ilyushin Il-62 long range jet airliner in April 1973. The introduction of Il-62 enabled transatlantic service to Montreal and New York City.
In the late 1980s, the fleet shifted back to Western aircraft, beginning with acquisitions of the Boeing 767-200ER in April 1989, followed by the ATR-72-200 in August 1991, Boeing 737-500 in December 1992 and 737–400 in April 1993. LOT became a joint-stock company in November 1992, although the state is holds 51% of the outstanding shares.
LOT is rumored to be placing an order of Airbus or Boeing aircraft at the end of 2005.
LOT have a wholly-owned subsidiary airline Eurolot which was founded on July 1 1997. LOT has also recently launched Centralwings, a budget airline and partner of Lufthansa's Germanwings. The new airline was launched in early 2005.
The LOT fleet consists of the following aircraft (at April 2005):
- 3 Boeing 767–300
- 2 Boeing 767–200
- 6 Boeing 737–500
- 5 Boeing 737–400
- 2 Boeing 737–300
- 14 Embraer ERJ-145
- 6 Embraer ERJ-170
- 8 ATR 72
- 5 ATR 42
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