WARSAW – On Tuesday evening January 17, another of the newer Boeing 737 MAX 8s for LOT Polish Airlines arrived in Warsaw. The aircraft was still wearing the colours of Blue Air.
This is the sixth plane acquired from the Romanian airline on lease from Air Lease Corporation (ALC) and the 11th MAX in LOT’s fleet.
The repositioning route of the OEIGU flight was: Prague (PRG) – Warsaw (WAW). The aircraft had been stored at Prague airport since mid-September this year, where it went after Blue Air suspended its operations.
It is worth mentioning that the first MAX by Blue Air arrived in Warsaw on 28 October (SP-LVM), the second on 21 November (SP-LVG), the third on 1 December (SP-LVL), the fourth on 10 December (SP-LVK) and the fifth on 16 December last year (OE-IGT).
11th LOT 737 MAX
The B737 MAX 8 with serial numbers MSN 43306 / LN 7672 (ex YR-MXB), which arrived on lessor registration OE-IGU, was produced in the second half of 2019, made its first technical flight on 8 September 2019 and was delivered to Blue Air on 4 June 2021.
The aircraft was then parked by ALC in Prague, Czech Republic, after being withdrawn by the Romanian carrier. It was stored there from 13 September 2022 to 17 January this year.
LOT’s new acquisition takes 189 passengers on board, three more than the B737 MAX currently used by the carrier, which has 186 seats. The aircraft will also soon receive Polish registration.
First two new MAX’s fly with passengers
The first ex-Blue Air MAX arrived in Warsaw on 28 October this year. It is a brand new aircraft delivered straight from Renton. On 1 December, aircraft inaugurated its service on LOT Polish Airlines’ network. The first rotation was between Warsaw and Brussels and Warsaw.
The second ex-Blue Air MAX which enter LOT’s network is a plane with SP-LVL registration delivered on December 1. On 13 January, aircraft inaugurated its service on LOT Polish Airlines’ network. The first rotation was a domestic one between Warsaw and Wrocław and Warsaw.
Now the aircraft operate the busiest routes from Chopin Airport to destinations like London (LHR), Madrid, Paris, Brussels and Munich.
From Blue Air to LOT Polish
The national carrier’s acquisition of six aircraft, which were to go to the financially troubled Romanian Blue Air, came as something of a surprise.
LOT is acquiring the new aircraft through an operating lease from Air Lease Corporation and, in doing so, the American company’s portfolio will increase to 12 aircraft in LOT’s fleet.
The new aircraft were acquired by LOT following the suspension of Romanian carrier Blue Air, lease from ALC, which had already leased five B737 MAX aircraft and one Dreamliner to LOT Polish Airlines.
Following the delivery of the final, sixth unit, the Boeing 737-8 MAX fleet will number 11 aircraft. Initially, the planes will be operated in Blue Air’s paint scheme, but they will gradually be repainted in the national carrier’s colours.
LOT Polish fleet
Currently, there are 73 aircraft in LOT’s fleet, including 17 Boeing 737s, 11 B737 MAX 8s and six B737-800NGs. In the near future, LOT plans to acquire one embraer E175 and one more E-Jet E190.
The latter are ultimately replacing the De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft which were phased out in the end of last year.