MIAMI — Boeing and LOT Polish Airlines have celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first 737 MAX, which is the first of the type in the central and eastern European market. This aircraft was the first MAX placed in order by Air Lease Corporation.
Rafal Milczarski, chief executive officer, LOT Polish Airlines commented on this momentous occasion for the carrier, “We are proud to be one of the first carriers in the world with the state-of-the-art Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in our short- and middle-haul fleet.”
“We are already one of the fastest growing European airlines and I am certain that this big step forward will help us achieve our goals of increasing our operational effectiveness and improving our service,” he said.
Stunning, right? LOT Polish Airlines takes delivery of the carrier’s first Boeing 737 MAX 8, on lease from Air Lease Corporation (ALC), and becomes the first operator of #737MAX in Central and East Europe. https://t.co/S0SJ2mYfG6 pic.twitter.com/Hp00mPoUYS
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) December 1, 2017
The carrier is to receive another five of the aircraft type from ALC and Boeing. For the 737 MAX, this first venture of the type into Europe is something that has been highly anticipated for many in the industry. With its success across mainland America looking even more present, there is no doubt by analysts that LOT will use this aircraft successfully.
“LOT has been a valued customer for decades and we are delighted that it has become one of the first operators of the MAX in Europe,” said Monty Oliver, vice-president Europe Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“The 737 MAX will provide LOT unmatched efficiency, range, reliability and operating costs all while continuing to provide a premium onboard experience for its passengers.”
At the moment, it is relatively unclear where the MAX will be placed on the carrier’s route portfolio. Having opened 42 new routes since 2016, LOT Polish is looking at operating services to Singapore from Warsaw as well as from Budapest to New York and Chicago starting from May 2018.
Although CEO Rafal said that it would be placed on small-middle haul programmes, it does certainly have the potential to go beyond that based on its distance of 4,000 nautical miles.
However, long-haul for the MAX under LOT’s control may not be the case due to their fleet of eight 787-8 Dreamliners that they currently have.
Six 787-9s are also on the way from March next year, so either way, the carrier has plenty of options in how they want to position their operations.
Collectively, they could expand and keep their current long-haul portfolio sufficiently sustained with those larger aircraft.
As for Air Lease Corporation, they have 129 more of the aircraft type on order, which will go to many different customers across the globe.
ALC currently own over 200 aircraft across 80 different airlines that lease the aircraft out. ALC also has over 400 aircraft on order, valued at over $30 billion respectively.