Three new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft seating 294 passengers each are scheduled to start operating on LOT’s routes to Chicago, New York and Toronto in the spring and summer of next year. Tickets for the connections served by the Polish carrier’s new planes are already available for sale.
There are currently eight wide-body Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft in LOT’s fleet. Each of them offers 252 seats in three classes: 18 in business, 21 in premium economy and 213 in economy. The deliveries of larger 787-9 Dreamliners are expected to commence in the spring of next year. Each of them will be capable of accommodating as many as 294 passengers (24 in business, 21 in premium economy and 249 in economy class). The Polish carrier has ordered the total of four larger B787 aircraft, with three of them starting service in 2018, and the last one joining the fleet in 2019.
Three of the four new planes will appear next year on selected long-haul routes departing Warsaw. They will be added to LOT’s flight network based on the following time schedule:
> to Chicago – from late March / early April
> to New York (JFK) – from the beginning of May
> to Toronto, Canada – from the beginning of July.
Furthermore, this specific variety of the Dreamliner may be also used on selected flights to the South Korean capital city of Seoul.
The 787-9 – the larger version of the Dreamliner – is almost 63 meters long, which makes it six meters longer than the 787-8 variant. It has been equipped with new generation Rolls-Royce Trent TEN engines that are interchangeable with the powerplants used in the smaller version of the Dreamliner, currently operated by LOT. The range of LOT’s new 787-9 aircraft exceeds 13,350 km and is by approx. 700 km longer than in the case of the 787-8. The 42 additional seats available aboard offer a considerable reduction in the per-passenger cost. According to Boeing’s data, the larger 787-9 is more efficient and more environmentally friendly than the 787-8. It consumes less fuel per passenger and boasts a longer range.
“LOT was the first European airline to have introduced the Boeing 787 into its fleet. It was a far-sighted move that has been paying off ever since. Today the Dreamliner is our flagship plane and the pillar of our long-haul fleet. Acquisition of additional, larger versions of the Boeing 787 fits in with the company’s sustainable growth strategy for 2016-2020” – says Rafał Milczarski, LOT CEO. “The Dreamliner is currently the most technologically advanced wide-body passenger aircraft in the world. Its composite structure and state-of-the-art engines reduce fuel consumption and offer higher levels of comfort compared to other planes” – stresses Milczarski.
The Boeing 787-9 – similarly to the smaller 787-8 version – will feature lie-flat business class seats. Laid out in the 2-2-2 configuration, they will provide passengers with ample room, offering the opportunity to sleep in very comfortable conditions. In addition to restaurant-type meals, the menu will also include a broad selection of wines, including original products also from Polish wineries. The premium economy class offers very comfortable seats in the 2-3-2 configuration, with a lot of legroom. The highly versatile meals are served on traditional, porcelain dishes, and the passengers enjoy a wide selection of beverages. Economy class seats will be available in the 3-3-3 configuration and are equipped with 6-way adjustable head- and footrests. Each of the seats, regardless of the travel class, will feature an individual In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) screen, a power socket and a USB port.
What changes will be introduced in the 787-9 passenger cabin? Willing to meet the passengers’ expectations and striving to comply with their recommendations, LOT has introduced several meaningful modifications in the new plane. The IFE screens for first row business class seats will be installed on the wall, in front of the passengers, and not in the armrest, as it has been the case so far. This will enable the passengers to use the IFE system throughout the entire flight. The pitch of premium economy seats will be increased by LOT from 38 to 42 inches. Such a solution will provide the passengers with more freedom while moving throughout the cabin. A toilet available to premium economy passengers will be present in this section of the plane as well. LOT has opted for the more comfortable Zodiac Z300 economy class seats that are equipped with larger 10.6’ IFE screens.
“The technology used in the Dreamliner allows us to offer the level of air travel comfort that cannot be matched by any other passenger plane, providing LOT with a competitive advantage over many other carriers operating on the market. Due to air humidity and cabin pressure values being higher than those experienced on other aircraft types, as well as thanks to LED lighting and electrochromic windows that can be dimmed at the push of a button, the designers have managed to minimize the effects of jet lag” – explains Rafał Milczarski.
There are eight Boeing 787 aircraft in LOT’s fleet today. With the additional four expected in 2018 and 2019, their total number will increase to 12. But this is not all. LOT’s profitable growth strategy assumes that there will be at least 16 wide-body Dreamliner aircraft in the carrier’s fleet by the end of 2020.
LOT is currently in the process of acquiring narrow-body and regional aircraft as well. The airline plans to receive six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft between December 2017 and May 2019. These will be operated on the most popular short – and medium-haul routes. They will take LOT’s passengers, inter alia to London, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and Barcelona. In addition, LOT’s fleet will be expanded by six Embraer 195 planes capable of accommodating 116 passengers each (four more than currently) with the seats installed in the 2+2 configuration. These aircraft will be used, inter alia, to feed the Warsaw hub with passengers traveling from Central and Eastern European airports.
According to LOT’s estimates, the number of passengers using the airline each year is expected to exceed 10 million by 2020, meaning that the number of customers will be doubled compared to the 2016 result. From mid-2019, the LOT capital group plans to have the fleet of 75 aircraft at its disposal. This number includes: planes operated currently by LOT (supplied by Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier), machines ordered by LOT, with their deliveries to be completed by mid-2019 (Boeing 787-9 and 737 MAX 8, as well as Embraer 195) and aircraft of the Estonian Nordica airline (primarily Bombardier CRJ), with some of them already operating within LOT’s network.