WARSAW – LOT Polish Airlines is expanding its fleet with six Boeing B737-8 MAX aircraft, which will operate short- and medium-haul flights. The carrier will take delivery of all the planes as early as mid-October this year. One of them will go to LOT straight from the Boeing’s Renton factory.
LOT is currently in the process of selecting a new fleet in the regional and narrow-body segments. Until a supplier is selected, the airline plans to acquire aircraft as a bridging solution. More Embraer 175s and 190s have already joined the carrier’s fleet in recent months, and will soon be joined by Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft.
Deal with ALC
The new planes were acquired by LOT following the suspension of Romanian carrier Blue Air, in the form of an operating lease from US-based Air Lease Corporation, which had already leased five Boeing 737 MAX 8s and one Dreamliner for LOT. After the delivery of the sixth unit, the 737 MAX fleet will total 11 aircraft.
– We are honored and pleased to expand our long-standing partnership with LOT by leasing six modern 737-8 jets. Together with the aircraft currently on lease, ALC’s portfolio has grown to 12 aircraft in LOT’s fleet.
ALC has played an important role in LOT Polish Airlines’ recent fleet modernization program since the end of 2017, and the six additional aircraft will certainly support the carrier’s growth strategy – said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, president of Air Lease Corporation.
MAX in LOT fleet
The Polish carrier plans to operate Boeing 737 MAX 8s on the most popular short- and medium-haul routes. The first of the six leased planes will operate from mid-October from Warsaw on major European routes in LOT’s network. Initially, the planes will be used in Blue Air’s paint scheme, but they will gradually be repainted in the national carrier’s colors.
There are currently 77 aircraft in LOT’s fleet, including 11 B737 aircraft: six B737-800 and five B737 MAX 8.
LOT Polish Airlines will take delivery of five Blue Air B737 MAX 8’s which are stored in Prague from mid September. There are aircrafts registered: YR-MXA, YR-MXB, YR-MXC, YR-MXD and YR-MXE.
The sixth MAX destined for Blue Air (YR-MXH) with MSN 8355 is currently still at Boeing’s Renton plant. It is likely that this aircraft will be flown to Warsaw first. According to the latest data, it has received the Polish registration SP-LVM.
LOT’s 737 MAX planes take 186 passengers on board. The interior of the passenger cabin is the famous Boeing Sky Interior, based on solutions used in Dreamliners. The cabin features new ergonomic storage compartments and LED lighting, allowing the intensity and color of the light to be changed. The manufacturer has used a more comfortable arrangement of lights, speakers and buttons for passengers.
Boeing 737 MAX
The B737 MAX family of aircraft is a more fuel-efficient version of the B737 NG that uses nearly 15-20 percent less fuel, resulting in about 3,800-4,000 fewer tons of CO2 emissions per aircraft per year.
The CFM LEAP-1B engines powering the machine, which have been optimized for the B737, are quieter, and the reduced operating costs offer the opportunity to fly longer or carry more cargo than before. The manufacturer has also designed a new type of winglets to be fitted to 737 MAX aircraft.
A total of 75 leasing companies and airlines have ordered 5459 aircraft from the B737 MAX family (including 2185 B737 MAX 8), about 39 percent of the narrow-body market.