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Photo: Star Alliance

LOT extends “profitable strategy” to Sri Lanka

The carrier says its new seasonal service between Warsaw and Colombo is among the shortest routes there from Europe.

Poland’s national carrier says it will be adding a connection between Europe and Sri Lanka from the next winter season, which will “guarantee the shortest travel” to the destination from many European countries.

LOT will fly from Warsaw to Colombo seasonally, from November 3 to March 28, 2020, three times a week with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Colombo is the sixth Asian destination in LOT’s growing network and the first regular seasonal winter service “opened for tourists seeking an exotic winter vacation”.

The outward flight will depart Warsaw on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 15:35, landing in Columbo at 05:10, while return flights depart at 07:35 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays to land back in the Polish capital at 13:30.

“We decided to start a regular connection to Sri Lanka due to the very high tourist potential of this direction,” explains Rafał Milczarski, chief executive of LOT Polish Airlines.

Market of 1.8mn
He adds that more than 1.8 million passengers per year travel between Europe and Colombo, saying that the flight time of “about nine hours” plus fast transfers via Warsaw will appeal to travellers.

“Our convenient schedule guarantees passengers from all of the cities in Poland, Western Europe and the Baltic states served by LOT as well as from Prague, Zagreb or Budapest a short travel time to Colombo with convenient transfers via Warsaw Chopin Airport,” he says.

The airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners offers three service classes, starting with business class with its armchairs unfolding into a flat-bed position and “with cuisine like from the best restaurant”, the carrier maintains.

Economy has “modern armchairs with individual on-board entertainment screens and USB sockets as well as fresh and varied meals”, while premium economy has “a larger, individual space, comfortable seats with footrests, thigh rests, cocktail tables and a rich menu”.

Growth strategy
The new route is part of the “profitable growth strategy” that LOT has been implementing since the start of 2016, the carrier says.

LOT is expanding its fleet, taking delivery of five aircraft in December – an additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 and four Embraer 190s to make 34 Embraer planes of four types.

This year, deliveries include nine B737 MAX aircraft to make 14 by the end of this year, plus four more Dreamliners to make a total of 15.

LOT has a total fleet of 80 aircraft flying 111 scheduled routes on three continents. It carried a record of over 8.9 million passengers in 2018, or 2 million more than the previous year, and is aiming at 10 million passengers for 2019.

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