LOT restructuring leads to route suspension
PR dla Zagranicy
LOT Polish Airlines has announced that it is to suspend a number of routes from July until the end of the year.
Services affected include connections between Warsaw and Chisinau, Zagreb, Yerevan and Belgrade, with flights to Dusseldorf suspended from September. The domestic Kraków-Gdańsk route is also to be suspended, the carrier announced.
However, the airline underlined that all the routes remain within LOT’s network and that the destinations, mostly in the CEE region, will be available again from 2016.
“LOT has made the decision to announce changes to the timetable with as much notice as possible for passengers,” the airline said in a statement.
The airline cites restructuring as the reason for suspending the routes. The plan, which has been rubberstamped by the European Commission, obliges the airline to implement its last round of compensatory measures, essentially forcing the airline to make changes to its schedule.
Every EU airline which receives state aid has to implement similar measures, the airline said. “LOT is in contact with the European Commission and is going ahead according to current regulations,” the statement reads.
The carrier maintains that EU restrictions will last only until the end of the year, with LOT expected to announce new routes from 2016 in the next couple of months.
In April, LOT announced that it had made a PLN 99.4 million profit on its core operations in 2014, some PLN 30 million more than the restructuring plan had previously envisaged. The financial result is the first profit on its core operations in seven years.
The first tranche of state aid was given to the airline in December 2012, amounting to some PLN 400 million. The European Commission greenighted state aid for the company in July 2014.
A total of PLN 804 million was allocated for the carrier’s restructuring, although ultimately LOT did not need the cash, only taking a further PLN 127 million. (jb)