Friday, May 16, 2008

LOT quits Beijing route after just 2 months

Long awaited, and loudly announced opening of Warsaw-Beijing non-stop connection was a short stunt after all.

I don't know if the guys at LOT Polish Airlines prepared any kind of financial forecast, but cancelling an important and expensive route after just 2 months of service is not something an airline is expected of doing. But still, it is able to, as it comes out. It seems they had underestimated the growing cost of fuel, plus they didn't expect China will forbid flying thorugh its Territory, making Polish planes go in detours - via Kazakhstan and India.

The direct flights between Warsaw and Beijing will be suspended indefinetely on June 6, just two days and 2 months before Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. LOT admits that awaited number of passengers wasn't reached, with ticket sales of low 30%. Polish national carrier expects to return to its Eastern Asian plans, but not sooner than before receiving their share of B787 Dreamliner fleet, which was postponed again. I have no idea why they claim that only with B787 the route would be bring financial profits. But I guess at LOT they know better...

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