LOT Polish Airlines History

- The Polish government established the airline as a state owned self governing corporation on the 1st of January, 1929, taking over existing domestic lines Aerolot and Aero.

- On the 2nd of January, 1929, LOT started its operations using Junkers F.13 and Fokker F.VII aircraft.

- LOT was accepted into IATA in 1930, and opened international routes to Bucharest, Berlin, Helsinki and other destinations later that year.

- Until Second World War started, the airline carried almost 220,000 passengers, and its fleet included Douglas DC-2s, Lockheed L-10A Electras and L-14H Super Electras.

- On the 10th of March, 1945, the Polish government recreated the LOT airline and, one year later, services restarted with 10 Lisunov Li-2 aircraft, joined later by 9 Douglas C-47 and 30 more Li-2s.

- After the end of the stalinist period in Poland, a few Western aircraft were acquired (Convair 240 and Vickers Viscount), before the fleet switched to Soviet aircraft once again.

- In 1961, LOT buys its first turboprops, Soviet-made Il-18s.

- In 1968, LOT acquires its first jet, the Tu-134.

- In 1972, long-haul Il-62s join the fleet, and the first Polish flight over the Atlantic Ocean is performed by a LOT aircraft.

- In 1972, regular service from Warsaw to New York is introduced.

- In 1986, the old Il-18s and Tu-134s are withdrawn from the fleet, and new Tu-154Ms are purchased.

- Two years later, LOT acquires Boeing 767 jets, becoming the first carrier in Central and East European countries operating American equipment.

- During the early 1990s, new Western aircraft continue to be added to the fleet, and the airline becomes a single-shareholder State Treasury company (December, 1992).

- New routes continue to be added to the network, and "Business Travel World" recognizes LOT as the best airline in Central and Eastern Europe in the business class for four consecutive years - 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

- On the 1st of July, 1997, EuroLOT, a wholly-owned subsidiary airline, was established.

- On the 18th of November, 1999, the Minister of the State Treasury signs agreements for the sale of LOT’s shares to Swiss SAirGroup Holding.

- In 2001, LOT transported over 3 million passengers.

- In October, 2003, LOT became a Star Alliance member.

- LOT created a low cost subsidiary, Centralwings, in 2004. Five years later, Centralwings ceased operations.

- In early October, 2006, LOT S.A. is awarded, the title of "IT Leader" and prize in a competition organized by weekly "Computerworld", for achievements in the use of IT.

- In September, 2007, LOT is awarded the prestigious Business Traveller award for "Best Airline in Central and Eastern Europe" for the second time.

- In May, 2009, LOT Polish Airlines sets up a new charter division called LOT Charters.

- On the 8th of November, 2009, LOT Polish Airlines and Cargojet inaugurate the first direct transatlantic freighter service in the history of Polish commercial aviation.

- First deadly accident involving LOT aircraft occurred in December, 1962, when 33 people on board a Vickers Viscount 804 perished due to a crash at landing in bad weather at night in Warsaw. Poland's worst air disaster took place in May, 1987, when a LOT Il-62M crashed shortly after departure from Warsaw, killing all 183 people on board. Last fatal incident involving LOT occurred in November, 1988, when an Antonov An-24W made an emergency landing on a field after both engines failed, and one passenger died.

Source: http://www.seatmaestro.com
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