Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A. (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɔt], Flight), trading as LOT Polish Airlines, is the flag carrier of Poland. Based in Warsaw, LOT was established in 1929, making it one of the world’s oldest airlines still in operation. Using a fleet of 47 aircraft, LOT operates a complex network to 60 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Asia. Most of the destinations are served from its hub, Warsaw Chopin Airport.
As Poland made the transition to democracy from 1989, the airline began a transformation from a Soviet-controlled carrier to a European flag carrier. LOT started a process of fleet renewal with the purchase of Western aircraft to replace old Soviet models. With the arrival of the first Boeing 767-300ER, LOT started inter-continental services to Chicago, Newark, Toronto, and New York City. These four main routes have been some of the most popular flights that LOT operates, especially during the summer season when many Poles and foreigners seek to come back to their homeland for vacation.
LOT found itself undergoing constant management change in the late 2000s due to reductions in market share. In 2012 the company took delivery of the most modern aircraft in the world – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, however, after placing orders for several aircraft and taking delivery of two, the carrier has found itself “nearly insolvent” due to the January 2013 grounding of the Boeing 787.
With a commitment to a high standard of service and delivering a quality product, LOT Polish Airlines has garnered praise throughout the industry and is renowned for its high on-time performance. Like other traditional airlines, it offers two service classes on its flights – Economy and Business class. LOT has also won numerous awards including the award “Best Airline in Eastern Europe” 2008, 2009 and 2010 in the ranking of the magazine Global Traveler and has been hailed as one of the safest airlines in the world.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical 3-class seating configurations. It is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient airliner and the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe. The 787 was designed to be 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 it is replacing. The 787 Dreamliner’s distinguishing features include mostly electrical flight systems, a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour. It shares a common type rating with the larger Boeing 777, allowing qualified pilots to operate both models, due to related design features.
The aircraft’s initial designation was the 7E7, prior to its renaming in January 2005. The first 787 was unveiled in a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007 at Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington. At this time there were 677 aircraft on order, which is more orders from launch to roll-out than any previous wide-body airliner. By January 2015, the 787 program had logged 1,071 orders from 58 customers, with All Nippon Airways having the largest number on order.
Development and production of the 787 has involved a large-scale collaboration with numerous suppliers worldwide. Final assembly takes place at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington, and at the Boeing South Carolina factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. Originally planned to enter service in May 2008, the project experienced multiple delays. The airliner’s maiden flight took place on December 15, 2009, and completed flight testing in mid-2011. Final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification was received in August 2011 and the first 787-8 model was delivered in September 2011. It entered commercial service on October 26, 2011 with launch customer All Nippon Airways. The stretched 787-9 variant, which is 20 feet (6.1 m) longer and can fly 450 nautical miles (830 km) farther than the -8, first flew in September 2013. Deliveries of the 787-9 began in July 2014; it entered commercial service on August 7, 2014 with All Nippon Airways, with 787-9 launch customer Air New Zealand following two days later.
The aircraft has suffered from several in-service problems, notably fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries. These systems were reviewed by both the FAA and the Japanese aviation agency. On January 16, 2013, the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive that grounded all 787s in the United States. Other civil aviation authorities followed suit and grounded the other Dreamliners. After Boeing completed tests on a revised battery design, the FAA approved the revised design on April 19, 2013, and lifted the grounding on April 26, 2013; the 787 returned to passenger service later that month.