On 1st of January 2024, LOT Polish Airlines celebrated its 95th anniversary, being one of the oldest operating airlines in the world today. LOT is one of the most important symbols of Polish aviation, and the crane sign is not only a recognizable logo, but above all a promise of comfort and a good, safe travel. In the coming years, LOT will consistently follow the path of profitable development, implementing the assumptions of the announced strategy for 2024 – 2028.
LOT Polish Airlines’ beginnings in the world sky
On 1st of January 1929, “LOT Airlines” began operating. The company was formed from the merger of two private carriers: Aerolot and Aero, thus creating one of the oldest continuously operating airlines in the world. In the same year, one of the most outstanding graphic designers, Tadeusz Gronowski, designed the LOT Polish Airlines logo – a stylized silhouette of a crane inscribed in a circle, which has been the carrier’s symbol incessantly for 95 years.
The 20-year interwar period was a time of spectacular growth for LOT. Under the leadership of Col. Wacław Makowski, the line acquired new aircrafts and launched routes, connecting cities from Finnish Helsinki to Lydda in Israel as part of the Baltic Line.
In 1938, Director Makowski, as the commander and first pilot, made a flight of 24,850 kilometers from Burbank K. Los Angeles to Warsaw. The flight was a rehearsal for a regular service from Warsaw to North America, which was planned to start for 1940, and was realized out with a newly purchased Lockheed L-14H Super Electra aircraft with SP-LMK markings.
After the end of World War II, LOT Polish Airlines were reborn, but as a carrier from behind the Iron Curtain, they were limited only to serving destinations, which were important to the authorities of that time. An significant moment was LOT’s acquisition of long-haul aircraft of the IL-62 type, thanks to which 50 years ago the carrier has launched connections to the most important centers of the Polish community in Canada and the United States. In the late 1980s, another major change came to LOT Polish Airlines. Outdated Soviet designs were gradually replaced by modern American aircraft – at first Boeing 767s, later 737s. At the same time, five-person cockpit crews were reduced to two-person crews. The regional fleet was supplemented by Embraer regional aircraft debuting at the time, and in 2013 the carrier decided to replace the Boeing 767s with the world’s most modern wide-body aircraft – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
LOT Polish Airlines today and tomorrow
Today, PLL LOT is one of the oldest airlines in the world, whose experienced pilots take modern and comfortable planes into the sky every day, enabling passengers to travel safely and comfortably. Year after year, the carrier is vigorously expanding its route network with new destinations and proves its who you travel with, proudly promoting Polish hospitality and tradition.
– This year’s anniversary of LOT Polish Airlines is a source of pride and an excellent opportunity to thank all those who have created our company for over nearly a century. Finding a foothold in the experiences and achievements of the past decades, LOT is looking to the future. We are facing many challenges and difficult decisions in a highly competitive global market, where the margin for error is very small. Among the things that await us are fleet decisions and securing human and infrastructure resources to continue the profitable growth of the national carrier. The year 2023 has proven that LOT is a modern company that can achieve great results. The implementation of the company’s announced strategy for 2024 – 2028 will require a multi-year, careful commercial policy and ironclad cost discipline – says Michał Fijoł, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines.
In the next few years, the company plan is to focus on implementing the 2024 – 2028 strategy. LOT Polish Airlines will have more modern aircrafts and open more profitable routes. As part of its social responsibility, the carrier will focus on sustainability transformation and cooperation with the scientific and academic community, the business world and the support for development of the tourism market.