MIAMI – LOT Polish Airlines (LO) announced today a new route between Budapest, Hungary (BUD), and Wrocłav, Poland (WRO) starting on August 24. The new flight will connect to the airline’s Seoul (ICN) flight and will further strengthen LO’s 2-hub strategy planned in BUD.
The new flight will run weekly on Monday and based in WRO. It departs from Poland at 13:30 and arrives in the Hungarian capital at 14:45. After a layover of 1 hour and 45 minutes, passengers can continue their journey to South Korea on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The flight back departs at 15:35, 1:25 after the arrival of the ICN flight. The plane arrives in WRO at 16:50 making the journey 1:15 in both directions. An Embraer E195 is scheduled to operate the route, but LOT’s press release mentions the Dash-8.
Budapest for LOT
LOT always considered Budapest an important destination. The Budapest-Warsaw route is about 90 years old. It was one of the destinations the airline flew its B787s to for crew training.
The airline opened the BUD base in May 2018 with flights to New York (JFK) and Chicago (ORD). A month later, the airline announced London City (LCY).
However, the BUD base did not meet all expectations: the airline terminated ORD because of low load factors. Many planned flights have never taken off: Brussels (BRU) and Bucharest (OTP) are postponed over a year.
WAW Flight Load Factors
The first flight was scheduled for September 2019. The WAW flights often run with a 20-30% load factor.
This explains why industry rumors were spreading recently about the closure of the airline’s second, Hungarian hub.
LOT quickly refused allegations and not much later resumed flights to Budapest.
At this moment, it flies to Warsaw (WAW, 2-3 daily), Dubrovnik (DBV), Varna (VAR, both 1 weekly), and ICN (1 weekly).